Abu Ibrahim of the local council welcomed the delegation and emphasized the invaluable contribution of the project for such an isolated community. The delegation then awarded first aid kits to a class of local women who have benefited from the empowerment project. The YMCA has already completed eight of ten planned training courses for local women. Covering topics as varied as agriculture, first aid, small business management and photography; the training courses have provided educational opportunities for forty local women. This empowerment program is enhancing the extent to which local families can respond to the economic challenges which face them.
Speaking during the ceremony, the French Consul General to Palestine, Frédéric Desagneaux, noted the importance of partnership between the local community, NDC, the PA and the French state. He explained his particular pride in witnessing successful cooperation between the French and Palestinian peoples. The Minister for Public Works and Housing Maher Ghoneim added that the success of this initiative would play a crucial role in the development of this form of project and prove the ability of a variety of stakeholders to cooperate to support the most isolated of communities.
Riwaq will focus on improving living conditions in the village and the project will provide labour opportunities for the local work force. The delegation was delighted to have seen the impact of the physical improvements and meet some of the labourers involved in these transformations.
The ‘Improvement of Livelihoods in Beit Skarya’ project is an innovative approach to cooperation amongst development stakeholders. Bringing together an international donor, the PA and three Palestinian NGOs is an exciting example of how an integrated process of development can be delivered. The project emphasizes the potential for such targeted development to be an integral part of the development mission of international donor, NGO and PA alike.
Focusing on service provision, PNGO IV offers support to the Palestinian NGO sector through the dissemination of grants, targeted organizational capacity building and sector development. The ‘Improvement of Livelihoods in Beit Skarya’ project is an exciting development for the NDC mission. The initiative will facilitate direct responses to livelihood threats and also advance the necessary relationship between the PA and NGO sector. This level of cooperation and synchronised activity is an essential aspect of NDC’s development vision.