A Gaza-run project that helps people with special needs to integrate socially and economically in society, by providing them with rehabilitation and professional training, has become increasingly successful.
The project was launched in 2012, with Manal Hassna as a media officer for the project. It has trained over 700 individuals with special needs in various academic and skilled fields, 400 of whom have been employed. It has also supported the establishment of nine technical workshops for people with special needs, allowing them to liberate themselves from their economic dependency.
Hassna told MEMO that the project provides a number of specializations, including carpentry, painting, upholstery, gift-wrapping, glass painting, engraving, computer use, producing aluminum products, embroidery, and mobile phone maintenance. She also noted that the project has recently begun to welcome those with mental disorders and those who are deaf.
47-year-old Majeda Murad told MEMO that she lost both her legs during the Gaza war in 2008. She was a teacher for 15 years, but was unable to continue with her dream after her injury. As soon as the project was launched, with Turkish funding, she joined and said that she, along with many others, was given an amazing opportunity. She believes that this opportunity helps integrate people with special needs into society and enables them to overcome their psychological hindrances.
Murad adds: “Although the project did not and will not change anything in terms of their disabilities, after long hours of training and practice, we have gained a skill and are now able to work in difficult specializations.”
Murad further stated that, “Our hopes grew when our products started to be sold in the Palestinian market. That moment was a turning point for us, as we have achieved something that has reached the Palestinian market and inspired us to be even more creative”.