Walaa and Hanadi are close friends, having grown up together in the Ein el Hillweh camp near Sidon, in Lebanon. Both girls left school very young, and long before they completed their education. Low self-esteem and decreased ambition were swift to follow.
Barbara Shenstone, director of operations for UNRWA in the West Bank, yesterday planted an olive tree in the village of Burin, south of Nablus, in support of a project to create jobs and ‘green’ the local area, which sits close to the Israeli settlement of Yitzar.
Today 36 Palestine refugee students celebrated their graduation from UNRWA's North Vocational Training Centre in Lebanon. Around 80 per cent have already found employment, helping their community recover from the 2007 Nahr el-Bared camp conflict.