For many people in Gaza, poverty is a daily reality. Decades after conflict first began, life remains unstable and work opportunities precarious.
In Gaza, a shocking 70% of people under the age of 30 are unemployed and 80% rely on humanitarian aid to survive.
Opportunities for young people to earn a living are lacking and many graduates remain unsure of their future.
We believe that everyone should be able to earn a safe, independent living and that's why we continue to work across Gaza to support young people in need of work. Our Child Welfare Worker in Gaza, Mohammad Abdel Majeed Ismael, says:
The blockade has impacted every aspect of the Gaza Strip's fragile economy. Unemployment rates have soared to unprecedented levels, especially for young people, leaving even highly educated graduates unable to find work.
Through my work with Islamic Relief, I hear young people expressing their despair and exhaustion -- Gaza's youth feel they cannot use their skills and knowledge.
At Islamic Relief, we are doing our best to change that. As well as helping young people to set up viable micro-businesses and developing apprenticeship and internship opportunities, we are improving the quality and availability of technical and vocational education and training.
We hope to empower young people to earn a reliable living and make a positive difference in their communities.
Alhamdullilah, one of our latest projects has supported graduates across Gaza, helping 1,410 people, including 540 graduates, find employment since 2019.
This includes women such as Soha. With extra mobility requirements, finding the right job is even more challenging for Soha than the average graduate.
Soha: Building a sustainable future
Soha is 24 years old and lives in Gaza. As a young woman with a disability, she is particularly vulnerable.
When we first met her, she was unable to find a suitable job and was worried about her future. However, thanks to the graduate programme, she is now earning a stable living.
Soha prepares meals for disabled children, making approximately 300 meals a day. She is a key worker at her place of work and is happy and thriving. Soha says:
Islamic Relief cares about individuals with disabilities, especially disabled women.
Once I became employed, my sister and I could live more comfortably and easily meet our daily needs without asking anyone for help.
I am so happy with what I do and what I offer to children. For the first time in my life, I am completely happy.
Alhamdulillah, Soha's workplace has a lift, which gives her easy access around the building. She feels welcome and respected and can face the future with hope:
The staff treat me very well -- just like any other person who does not have a disability.
When I receive my salary, I go to get my medicine confidently and happily, with no need for help from others.
I am really surprised, I have my own source of income. It's a very beautiful feeling.
With Islamic Relief supporting me, I can get on with life and work and play sport -- just like any other person. Thank you Islamic Relief for enabling me to work.
Thank you for supporting Soha and many more people across Gaza to earn a sustainable living. You are helping us to empower young people and face the future with greater hope.
You truly are life-savers.