3 June 2013
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has been awarded the “Cisco Academy Outreach Award in the Levant 2013’’ in recognition of the work the Agency has done in widening e-learning and fostering IT skills among Palestine refugees in partnership with Cisco.
The partnership between UNRWA and Cisco began in 2001, with the opening of 10 Cisco Networking Academies at UNRWA vocational training centres (VTCs) in Jordan, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territory and Syria. This programme has been integrated in all Information and Communications Technology (ICT) courses at UNRWA’s VTCs, and since 2003 UNRWA is also offering the courses to local communities.
The global Cisco Networking Academy Program of which UNRWA is part of, is offering IT e-learning courses in 165 countries through 10,000 academies, to create "world‘s largest classroom." The goal is to enable students to develop valuable skills in order to increase access to opportunities in the global economy.
At UNRWA each year, 450 Palestine refugees are taught the skills needed to build, design, and maintain IT networks, preparing them for industry-recognized certifications and entry-level ICT careers worldwide. As part of the UNRWA - Cisco Networking Academy partnership, UNRWA provides classroom space, computer lab equipment and instructors, whereas Cisco provides online curricula, teacher training, and professional development for instructors.
Dr Ayman Murad, Head of Partnerships, Communication and ICT unit of the UNRWA Education Department, commented on the award, saying: “We are very proud of our partnership with Cisco and its tangible results. This award is a tribute to the Agency’s – and our students – dedicated work in pursuit of the goal of equipping Palestine refugees with ICT skills that help them to improve their careers.”
This important award recognizes UNRWA‘s success in providing equal opportunities for all student and quality ICT education under challenging conditions.
"Our partnership with UNRWA is equipping hundreds of students with the latest knowledge in Network Engineering through effective courses and qualified instructors. UNRWA‘s model of curriculum integration for all academies and contributing regional partners is undoubtedly benefiting UNRWA‘s graduates by increasing their employability, especially those who are facing serious challenges in their countries”, said Mohamed Jinini, Cisco Networking Academy Area Manager for the Levant.
The award was given to UNRWA during the Cisco Arabian Adventure Roadshow held in Amman on 30 May 2013.
– Ends –
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency‘s General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 66.9 million.
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
UNRWA Arabic Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 216 8295
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0724