On Wednesday 13 December 2017, the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Lebanon, Jan Waltmans, visited the Siblin Training Centre in South Lebanon to meet students benefiting from projects funded by the Netherlands and discuss the challenges that Palestine refugee youth face.
H.E. Waltmans said: “It is great to visit the Siblin Training Centre supported by the Netherlands. It provides hope to Palestine refugee youth who attend the trainings which will enable them to start their businesses.”
Maha Hamadeh is one of the Siblin Training Centre students who participated in the focus group discussion with the ambassador. She said: “It is a great opportunity to meet high profile people like his Excellency where we have the forum to express our views on challenges and opportunities for the future.”
In December 2016, UNRWA launched a two-year project with the support of the Netherlands entitled “Improving Livelihoods for Palestine Refugees: better access, more opportunities, enhanced capacities.” The project aims to foster an entrepreneurial culture by providing entrepreneurship education and awareness to Palestine refugee youth.
With the support of the Netherlands, the Know About Business Programme developed by the International Labor Organization was integrated within the curriculum of the UNRWA training centres in the south and the north. More than 500 students have benefited from workshops and trainings around this programme.
The Netherlands-funded project also targets community-based organizations and aims to turn them into sustainable social enterprises. Two community-based organizations were identified in Burj Barajneh camp in Beirut and Beddawi camp in North Lebanon for this project. The staff will be able to develop their own business plans and generate more income for the organization.
Another component of the project targets existing and potential owners of small businesses through the “Generate, Start and Improve Your Business Idea” programme. By the end of the project, approximately 750 Palestine refugee men and women will have benefited from trainings on basic management skills.