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301 Students Graduate from the UNRWA Siblin Training Centre on the South Campus
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Siblin Training Centre (STC) celebrated the graduation of 301 students in 18 specializations on 29 July 2022. The ceremony was attended by the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Mr. Claudio Cordone, representatives of the Palestinian factions and Lebanese political and local officials, as well as UNRWA partners and STC staff and parents.
Mr. Cordone congratulated the students and said: “We are proud of the achievements you have made despite the challenges you have faced, which reflect the hard work of staff, students and parents.” He also highlighted that 100 per cent of Siblin students passed the Lebanese Technique Superieur (TS) vocational and technical exams, with 66 percent passing with honors. Mr. Cordone concluded with a message to everyone on the importance of not losing hope despite the difficulties and continuing with the commitment to education and contributing to the community.
The students celebrate their graduation as Lebanon is facing economic collapse, with 86 per cent of Palestine refugees reportedly living below the poverty line, making their achievement all the more remarkable.
The principal of STC, Saeed Bekai, said, “Siblin has been a main resource for Palestine refugee youth since 1961. It continues to empower them to seek opportunities for a better future for themselves and their community. Our dream is to expand and develop the centre’s facilities to become the main reference for all Palestine refugee youth to find solutions for their social and economic concerns.”
Speaking on behalf of parents, Mr. Ghassan Abd Al Aziz, said: “Without Siblin Training Centre my son would not have been able to obtain a diploma and get a start in life. Myself being a technician in the local market, I can confirm that my son has gained all the required skills qualifying him to start his career thanks to UNRWA and the Siblin Training Centre team.”
Rana Issa, one of the graduating students, said, “Siblin Training Centre was a home to me. Our life at STC was rich in activities that sharpened my technical and practical skills and provided me with self-confidence to face the challenges of life and the labor market. I was a member of the basketball team, through which I built new fruitful friendships, learned the meaning of being team member and the value of providing and getting support. Thanks to the entire Siblin Training Centre team.”
UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.
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