Taawon and Palestine Islamic Bank sign a Memorandum of Understanding dedicated to supporting “The Economic Empowerment Project for youth with disabilities in the Gaza Strip”

Taawon and Palestine Islamic Bank signed today a Memorandum of Understanding at Taawon headquarters in Ramallah. The Memorandum is dedicated to supporting The Economic Empowerment Project for youth with disabilities in the Gaza Strip” a project that aims to create paid workplace training opportunities for specific periods, to enable youth to integrate into society and merge into the labor market while providing a source of income. In addition, to highlight and raise awareness of the rights for people with special needs.

Taawon’s General Director, Dr. Tafeeda Jarbawi, said, “We seek to build a strategic partnership with Palestine Islamic Bank to support Palestinian youth through economic and social empowerment, in light of the increasing rates of unemployment in the Gaza Strip and the difficulties of involving the disabled in society. It is important to support persons with disabilities in our society specially through providing the means of social inclusion leading to individual independence..” She added, “This is not the first time Taawon has cooperated with Palestine Islamic Bank. The Bank has previously supported the Tafkeer creativity and technology program in schools, in addition to helping families in Gaza who were affected by the Israeli assault in 2014.” Dr. Jarbawi also invited all private sector partners to support such projects, for the social and economic impact such projects have on development. and for improving conditions for Palestinian young people.

Representing the Palestine Islamic Bank, Mr. Bayan Qasem, General Manager, affirmed that the Bank believes people with special needs are equally entitled to enjoy all their rights in obtaining the bank’s services, referring to the fact that Palestine Islamic Bank was the first bank to incorporate sign language and Braille into their systems; he mentioned that all the employees received sign language training and provided specialized Braille printers for printing cheques, deposit vouchers and account opening requests, in addition to facilitating access to ATMs and bank branches for people with special needs.

Mr. Qasem praised Taawon’s high level of proficiency and community service, saying:

the Economic Empowerment for youth with disabilities is a continuous effort for more cooperation and more joint future projects that aim to serve the economy and empower our youth with skills to be able to serve their country.”

According to the latest report issued by the World Bank, the continuous siege imposed on Gaza along with repeated aggression against the Strip have led to strangling the economy. Unemployment rates have reached 43% which is the highest worldwide, while unemployment among youth has reached more than 60%. People with special needs are among the most neglected categories in the Gaza Strip since they are the most vulnerable.

Taawon is a leading independent Palestinian non-profit civil society organization established in 1983, working in Palestine and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Taawon implements its development and relief projects within seven main programs: Education, Community Development, Youth Empowerment, Orphan Support, Culture, Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization Program and The Palestinian Museum.