How do you ensure a future for children and adolescents in the West Bank? One way is through vocational training programs that develop desirable, marketable skills. In the Holy Land, where many youth cannot afford to go on to higher education after high school, vocational training is increasingly valuable. In recent years there has been an increase in demand for skilled workers in the technology and hospitality industries, providing stable jobs and a future to thousands who might otherwise be unemployed and without hope. In response to this growing need, the Diocese has developed vocational training programs in several of its schools and institutions for mainstream students, as well as for those with disabilities.
Palestinian students struggle to succeed under the pressure of occupation, which impedes access to education, damages facilities, disturbs school routines, and threatens bodily harm to students and teachers. Many students will not pass the official high school exam, and nearly half of young Palestinians face rising unemployment rates.” Giovanni Anbar, Director of the Episcopal Technological and Vocational Training Center.
- A major gift allowed the Episcopal Technological and Vocational Training Center (ETVTC) Hotel School to expand its training kitchen, doubling the number of students it can accept.
- $37,000 from the AFEDJ donors launched ETVTC’s high school IT program. We hope to double its size soon.
- AFEDJ donors support the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf in Salt Jordan, which includes sheltered workshops for adults in all three of its facilities.
Institution Profile: Episcopal Technological and Vocational Training Center in Ramallah, Palestine
ETVTC began as a series of enrichment programs for middle school students, offering pre-engineering, music, and dance classes. It currently provides technology education to more than 420 students from 5th through 10th grades, from seven area schools. In 2001, the ETVTC created the Hotel School for 11th and 12th grade students, which combines academics with vocational training and graduates 30 students each year into professional careers in the hospitality industry. These graduates are sought after in a place where 50% unemployment among men is the new norm. The program includes a commercial kitchen and a guest house, and provides internships in preparation for paying positions. They have more job offers than students in an area of high unemployment. In 2013 ETVTC launched a high school IT degree program, giving more students the tools they need to find good jobs in a difficult environment. The program includes computer-aided design, technological problem-solving, programming, and electronics.