Gaza Strip, 31 January 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme and Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, through its programme Al Fakhoora, organized, in partnership with Al Nayzak organization, the first conference of its kind in Gaza that is headed, designed and presented by youth.  The annual INSPIRE conference aims to empower youth towards positive change and play an active role in their communities.

Fostering a “giving back” approach”, approximately 150 youth between the ages of 18 and 35 will take part in INSPIRE 2019. Around 70% of the participants will be scholars of the Dynamic Futures Programme who completed an exceptional civic leadership programme provided as part of their scholarship through UNDP, generously funded by Al Fakhoora, a programme of Education Above All Foundation (EAA).

Mr Hani Shehada, Head of Al Fakhoora office in Gaza, highlighted that we are at a time where a university degree and traditional teaching methods are not enough. “We had to develop a modern approach that encourages critical thinking, research and analysis in order to enable the generations to come to compete and lead. Thus, we left the leadership seat of this conference to the youth themselves; to design, plan and present. It is because of this shared vision that the Education Above All Foundation is supporting this conference Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Programme; a programme that aims at enhancing the right of education for Palestinian youth through empowering a new generation of educated and inspired leaders to be a model that guides a fast-growing community towards a life of prosperity and development”.

These scholars will share with their peers, the journey of learning opportunities to develop their skills, competencies, knowledge and experiences to invest in their communities. How and what inspired their hearts and minds, and how did they turn this inspiration into action.

Mr Geoffrey Prewitt, UNDP Deputy Special Representative of the Administrator highlighted the significance of education as a human right that allows youth to achieve their potential, realize opportunities for employment, and develop life skills. “Education is central to growth and development and has remained high on the development agenda of the international community: education is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Unemployment among youth in Gaza is over 60%. We have to scale up the investment in creating a movement of education and motivate youth to make social change happen,” he added.