It’s been more than two years since I last visited the LWF Vocational Training Centre in Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, which provides occupational training for Palestinian youth.
The facilities have been vastly upgraded with new equipment and furnishings and there are new programs like catering, administrative assistant training and craft production, along with telecommunications, auto mechanics, plumbing and heating, metalwork and carpentry.
There is an unusual high success rate of graduating students finding employment or opening their own businesses.
The program continues its promotion of programs for women. The centre is responsible for changing attitudes and making a place for women in the work place by training competent and able young women for a variety of non-traditional jobs.
The boarding facilities for students for whom getting to the centre is virtually impossible due to distance and the number of border crossings have been upgraded to provide comfortable surroundings and a supportive learning environment.
The quality of the aluminum window frames, finished carpentry and metal fences and gates, for example, are commercial quality and are evidence of why the graduates are employed so quickly.
The great joy for me was to meet a man about whom I have spoken many times. For me Adnam Al-Quasim was only a story I told from an LWF annual report. But I met him at the Ramallah satellite auto mechanics facility. He has graduated, established his own business and now returns to teach others, giving back what he has received. He is married now and expecting his first child. He is living a life of peace and prosperity in a land that sees little of both thanks to this life giving training program.
Community Relations Director