Young Palestinians showcase scientific skills at West Bank exhibit

17 May 2012

Ramallah, West Bank

UNRWA’s science and technology club for young Palestine refugees marked the end of its first year of activities yesterday with an exhibit at the Education Learning Centre in Ramallah. The event showcased an improvement in scientific prowess among young Palestine refugees in the West Bank.

The science and technology club for students in UNRWA schools was formed at the start of this academic year to offer young Palestine refugees the opportunity to improve their knowledge in science and technology, and to develop general skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.

As part of the initiative, UNRWA schools committed to opening their facilities beyond normal hours, providing a venue for the students to work in informal groups, learning scientific theories and applying them outside of the normal curriculum.

Yesterday’s exhibit, organised with the support of local company Jumbo, included a technology competition in which students from UNRWA and Palestinian Authority (PA) schools throughout the West Bank took part. A judging panel was made up of officials from UNRWA, the Palestinian Ministry of Education, Jumbo company and World Vision.

Coming in first place were Widad Al Wohoush and Anagheem Khaled from UNRWA’s girls’ school in Halhoul, Hebron area, for their project of an electronic piano. Joint second prize went to groups from the Aida boys’ school in Bethlehem and the PA school in Qibya, north of Ramallah, for their respective projects on automatic lighting and electronic irrigation.

The improvement of technological and scientific learning in UNRWA schools is part of the Agency’s renewed effort to create new learning opportunities for young Palestine refugees and to equip them for future careers.

Background Information

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 5.4 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. 

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724
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