“ We wish to give hope to the younger individuals of Gaza ”: 5 inquiries to Haneen Abu Nahla, Supervisor – SAWA program – Gaza Strip – Occupied Palestinian Territory
What’s the SAWA program?
SAWA means “Collectively” in Arabic. We selected this identify to indicate that we completely wish to work with native companies and civil society organizations. Not solely to generate larger buy-in from the individuals of Gaza, which is important to our success, but additionally as a result of we wish to make sure that this system turns into self-sustaining and may proceed after our motion is accomplished.
SAWA has two most important aims. The primary is to construct the resilience of younger individuals. At this time there are half one million younger individuals within the Gaza Strip and the state of affairs could be very troublesome for them. Lots of them are dropping hope as a result of they can not see their future right here. We subsequently assist younger men and women to start out their very own micro-enterprises to enhance their socio-economic state of affairs and create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their households. Our second goal is to create new employment alternatives for younger individuals by encouraging them to create new options from scratch and to develop new companies within the discipline of inexperienced and round economic system within the industrial sector.
SAWA is funded by the EU and carried out by Enabel. At this time, it’s more and more frequent to see nationwide growth businesses managing applications funded by different European nations or by the EU itself. This can be a technique to promote extra cooperation between EU Member States, but additionally to permit nationwide businesses to develop experience that may profit the EU as an entire.
“We checked out what different donors had been doing in these areas and the place, in order that we may deal with the place no donor was energetic.
The place is the undertaking at this time?
Properly, the primary yr of the undertaking simply ended and it was a launch yr. We have now produced a vulnerability map of the Gaza Strip to determine essentially the most weak areas, areas the place there’s a whole lot of poverty and a scarcity of alternatives. We then checked out what different donors had been doing in these areas and the place we may deal with the place no donor was energetic. We then carried out in-depth financial analysis to determine essentially the most promising sectors for younger individuals to start out their companies. As well as, we carried out a inexperienced examine to determine the principle challenges and alternatives associated to the inexperienced and round economic system within the industrial sector of the Gaza Strip. The outcomes of this examine will likely be offered to younger individuals in Gaza to encourage them to consider progressive options to those challenges.
We at the moment are beginning the implementation of our program and we count on our first successes within the first six months of 2021. As SAWA is a pilot undertaking with a small fund, we are going to begin by deciding on 100 individuals who will obtain our assist to create their very own micro-enterprises, in addition to ten inexperienced or round entrepreneurial tasks. Sooner or later, we hope to answer a wider viewers, because the EU is taken with part two of this undertaking. Along with this, Enabel is predicted to start out a brand new nation portfolio for Palestine in 2022, through which SAWA has been built-in as one of many most important profitable fashions to obtain assist from Belgium.
For now, the primary a part of this system consists of data classes for younger individuals from the chosen areas, to clarify that are essentially the most promising sectors and provides them the chance to mirror on their undertaking. A few of the sectors we’ve recognized are meals processing, upkeep of cell and sensible gadgets, graphic design, agribusiness, and industrial ventures like grocery shops.
Prior to now, younger individuals needed to apply on-line, which de facto excluded essentially the most weak. That is why we determined that it was higher to prepare reside classes. We may even assist them apply for this system. We’ll then assess the functions utilizing a collection of standards and choose 100 and fifty candidates. These will obtain a ten-day coaching on tips on how to put together a marketing strategy. We’ll then choose the hundred finest plans and supply them with monetary assist – with funding of as much as 5,000 euros – but additionally teaching and mentoring.
This final half is essential, as a result of we wish them to obtain assist all through the method to resolve any points that will come up, to ensure they’ll begin and run their enterprise.
For the second half, we are going to arrange a three-day hackaton in the course of the month of March: younger individuals can apply and current their concepts. We’ll choose the highest ten concepts, convey them collectively in a spot the place they’ll additional develop their thought, but additionally the place they’ll obtain technical and enterprise growth assist to refine their marketing strategy, make their first prototypes after which current them. on the nationwide market. And from there, who is aware of, maybe to regional and worldwide markets?
How does the state of affairs within the Gaza Strip affect your actions?
Our greatest downside is electrical energy: there’s solely electrical energy eight hours a day within the area. Ingesting water can be a difficulty, as is strong waste administration. However we see these issues as alternatives: creating inexperienced and round options to unravel them will on the similar time present self-employment alternatives for younger Gazans and enhance the general state of affairs in Gaza.
Your work additionally depends closely on the neighborhood as an entire. The way it works?
We’re on the lookout for methods to make this program sustainable, in order that it might probably proceed after we go away. To do that, we wish to empower native organizations that use a neighborhood strategy and have the capability to assist younger individuals. Our purpose is to strengthen their capacities. And we consider that the non-public sector must also be concerned, which is why we’re working with the Palestinian Federation of Trade. We would like them to see us not as rivals, however as promoters of a complementary strategy that may strengthen the economic system.
We additionally work with civil society organizations to supply our individuals with teaching and mentoring. They’ll obtain coaching on tips on how to ship marketing strategy coaching, tips on how to present teaching and tips on how to arrange mentoring. They are going to be answerable for this a part of this system and we count on that they’ll ultimately take the lead.
You’re additionally engaged on the empowerment of ladies. How does this translate into this system?
Certainly, inclusion is a crucial a part of this system. One of many 4 civil society organizations we work with is the Middle for Ladies’s Affairs. Our purpose is for the proportion of ladies collaborating in this system to be equal to or larger than 50%. Through the preparatory part, we recognized essentially the most promising sectors for girls to open a enterprise, akin to agricultural tasks, ICT and photo voltaic power.
We have now additionally tailored our choice standards to offer extra alternatives to girls. As well as, we arrange daycare facilities within the buildings the place the coaching classes will happen. And on prime of that, we are going to run classes to assist girls assert their rights: certainly, we don’t want their brothers or husbands to take over the companies they’ve created. Teaching and mentoring may even take this dimension into consideration.