4 December 2011
4 December marks International Day of Persons with Disability. On this occasion, the disability programme of the relief and social services department organised a fun day in Ramallah along with a handicraft exhibition, produced by people with special needs. Majida Masri, Minister of Social Affairs, along with Siham Barghouti, Minister of Culture, attended the opening ceremony along with UNRWA officials. The exhibition took place on the margins of a central event organised at the Ramallah Men’s Training Centre.
Du’a Ballout is a disabled 19-year-old refugee from Fara’a near Nablus. Despite the many hurdles she faces due to her disability, she managed to obtain a diploma as a medical secretary from UNRWA’s women’s training centre in Ramallah. She explains: “UNRWA is the only institution that has helped me through its various programmes. I benefited from its job creation programme for a period of time, and I also obtained my primary, secondary and academic education from UNRWA, hence I am very grateful.”
UNRWA’s disability programme aims at enhancing and rehabilitating people with special needs to increase their participation in society. It has been operational for more than 20 years, partnering with more than 15 local committees for rehabilitation in the various camps of the West Bank. In 2010, UNRWA developed a policy for integrating people with disabilities in a better manner, and established a lobby group to defend their cause. Overall, UNRWA assists more than 4,000 persons with disabilities along with their families by rehabilitating their homes and providing them with aid tools, vocational training, and transferring them to specialised institutions.
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Public Information Officer
West Bank Field Office
054 216 8717