Women's activities

Education programme for Karama Women

The women in Palestinian society do not have many opportunities for education and this is the main reason why Karama began offering educational programmes for women. The goal of these programmes is to teach women the necessary skills to earn a high school degree as well as prepare them for any future education.

In one project, 12 women attended three lessons a day by a qualified teacher and paid for by Karama over three days. These women were between 27 and 38 years old. For these women the first step was to learn how to read and write. The next step was to prepare them for secondary school level. All 12 women passed these exams. The final step was to prepare them for the high school exams (Tawjehi). Nine out of the 12 women passed the high school level and two of them got high results and good grades (83% and 87% which equals an A). Five out of the nine women are now students at the university.

From 2005 until 2007, another project was offered by Karama to 7 women. The lessons that were organized dealt with differents subjects such as Mathematics, Arabic, English and Science, aiming at preparing the women for obtaining a secondary school diploma. After the end of the project 6 of these women entered university. These impressive results marked a positive change for society, as the social context of these women was not advantageous for the project. All were married, had up to 7 children and faced a difficult economic background. Obtaining a secondary school diploma and going to university despite these social circumstances laid a strong foundation for the enhancement of society. In breaking with the traditional role of the housewive, these women became exemplary for other women in the camp, giving them the will-power to take up their matters and change their destinies. Nonetheless, the women participating in this project faced numerous difficulties, such as dividing their time between running a household and studying. It took them perseverance and a strong motivation. Karama is very proud of their achievements and congratulates each one of them!

Skills workshops

As mentioned in the Women's projects section of our website, international volunteers run workshops in which they share their skills with our local women. Recently, six women attended a massage workshop with our Swedish volunteer Susanna, who is an occupational therapist. The six women learnt how to treat common diseases like backpain and general discomfort through different massage techniques.

They also completed a jewellery making workshop with our Scottish volunteer Addison. Addison showed the women how to make brooches, necklaces and little gifts with beads, felts, fabric and resin. The women loved this workshop in which they could be creative and make something with their own hands.

English lessons

In February 2003, Karama started to give English lessons to the women of Deheishe. During the following four months, our Swedish volunteer Nina Gren taught two English lessons per week to about 12 women. After she left, the course was taken over by other international volunteers. The English lessons improved the women's possibilities to communicate and provided them with better opportunities to attend university as well as to find work.

Conferences

September 2003 marked the beginning of a series of conferences given by Amal Abu Sa'da, a social worker, to the Deheishe women. These weekly conferences dealt with issues faced by the women daily, mainly concerning topics related to psychology, health and education.

The Subject (women's voice)

In this project female university students (18 years old and older) attended workshops on the role of women in the society and the problems they face. These problems include early marriage, a limited opportunity to make decisions, rules being imposed on them as well as the difficulty of finding work opportunities.

The aims of these workshops was to help them understand the role of women in society, to develop their capabilities to achieve important positions in the society and to discuss the issues that they face in a constructive manner. Furthermore, they were able to meet women in high positions in the society and learn from their experience.

Democracy project

Karama offered the women of Deheishe a human rights course, especially focusing on women's rights. To set up the course, Karama cooperated with Palestinian and international human rights organizations and invited their members to the Center. Lectures and discussion sessions were organized in the aim of rendering the women more conscious about their rights, as they are suffering from a situation of triple oppression: as a woman, as a Palestinian and as a refugee.

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