Teacher at School, Breadwinner at Home

16 May 2017
© 2017 UNRWA Photo by Tamer Hamam

Thirty-eight-year-old Basema Muslim al-Mlalha has been working as a teacher at the UNRWA Al-Zaitoun Preparatory Girls B School in Gaza since 2007. She lives in al-Nuseirat neighborhood, in central Gaza, and works hard as the main breadwinner for her family of five. Though her son suffers from a genetic skin disorder – ichthyosis – Basema’s salary as an UNRWA teacher has allowed her to cover the costs of treating her son’s condition.

With her UNRWA Provident Fund – a retirement benefit plan for local UNRWA staff members – Basema was able to improve the living conditions of her shelter. She also purchased a small plot of land – 300 m – in the al-Nuseirat neighbourhood, where her husband tends the land to help support their family.

“I am very grateful to the United Arab Emirates and UNRWA for their generous support and for giving me the opportunity to work in a job that I love, so that I can support my family, gain experience and improve my skills,” she says. “Without the generous support of those who provide assistance to Palestine refugees, life would be very difficult. And without my UNRWA salary, which allows me to support my family, I would not be able to complete my path of success in my family, social and educational life.”

Two UNRWA students from Gaza enjoy recess in their first day of school. © 2017 UNRWA Photo by Rushdi Al-Saraj
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