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Hairdressing promoting empowerment in Lebanon: EU support galvanizes success
Marwa Bilal Sharara graduated from the UNRWA Siblin Vocational and Technical Training Centre (STC) with a diploma in hair dressing and beauty culture seven years ago. Now 25, she is still in contact with her professors, whose guidance had a big impact on her life. “STC is characterized by its unique teaching methods. It prepares its student for the labour market and enhances competent communication with managers, colleagues and even customers in all fields,” she says.
Marwa was among the top five at STC in graduates in 2016. She went on to graduate with distinction and was selected to deliver the graduation speech on behalf of her graduating class . Once she graduated, she opened her own beauty centre and received valuable support from her mentors at STC, who have contributed immensely to her professional development and success.
In Lebanon, within the current context of high unemployment and intense competition for scarce job opportunities, Palestine refugees are among the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. They are barred from several professions and face discrimination in the labour market. Continued EU support provides opportunities and skills to young Palestine refugees and enables them to improve their living conditions and enjoy their rights.
Strengthening the capacities of Palestine refugees and providing them with the necessary skills to achieve their potential and access the job market is at the core of the Agency’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme. At these facilities, UNRWA provides a range of long and short-term trade and professional courses, maintaining strong links with and relevance to local labour markets. Employment rates for TVET graduates are high, helping to mitigate youth unemployment.
“After opening my beauty centre, I decided to work in Beirut at well-known beauty centres dealing with famous brands such as L’Oréal. I received more practical training and participated in many courses about how to deal with all types of hair, aiming at enhancing my skills and capabilities. In addition, I am now working as the head of the hairdressing department at one of the best beauty centers in Saida.”
Education and proper employment opportunities are essential for ensuring a dignified future for young Palestine refugees. In Lebanon, the European Union (EU) has established itself as a key partner to UNRWA supporting Palestine refugees from Lebanon and Syria through a variety of sectors with a special attention to improving quality education and employability.
The EU and UNRWA are determined to jointly contribute to the achievement of the 4th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) which aims to ensure that by 2030 all girls and boys receive an inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities to help break the cycle of poverty.
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