11 September 2009
"Now, I look forward to helping patients, healing them, raising their morale and helping my father pay the expenses of my sisters’ education to give them the chance to complete their studies," says Wafa Tawfiq Mohammad El-Qadri, a scholarship alumnus in Jordan.
Wafa is one of more than 900 young Palestinians who were awarded higher education scholarships by the Government of Japan through UNRWA. Wafa studied nursing at the University of Jordan and graduated in the year 2007/2008 with excellent results. Since graduating, she has been working at University of Jordan Hospital. The Japan Scholarship Program has enabled Wafa to help not only her family but also her own people and society.
A very large percentage of able and aspiring Palestine refugee students cannot pursue further studies because of financial difficulties. UNRWA has always placed a high premium on educating professionals and intellectuals in refugee society. It has offered university scholarships since 1955 and helped nearly 5,500 students to succeed in 44 different fields of study. Many of them now hold key positions in Arab society.
In 1997 UNRWA was forced to suspend its scholarship programme because of severe financial shortages, but the Agency’s ongoing commitment to further education led to its limited reinstatement in 2003 with donor funding. The Government of Japan is one of the generous donors who support the Agency to continue this scholarship programme.
Japan has traditionally been a major supporter of UNRWA’s scholarship programme. From 1989 to 1998, the Government of Japan has awarded 844 scholarships for Palestinian young people. Today, 65 scholars in 23 specialisations are being supported in the Agency’s five fields of operation.
UNRWA and the refugees are grateful to the people and the Government of Japan for their commitment and support to the scholarship programme.