Where We Work: Palestine

Young people here in Palestine are highly educated but struggle to transition into the workforce. 

Building on a decade-long partnership, IYF and Caterpillar Foundation joined forces to create EquipYouth, a long-standing global initiative that to-date has provided over 8,000 young people in 14 countries, including Palestine, with market-relevant life and skills training along with job placement support and services. In Palestine, EquipYouth addressed the shortfall in critical employability and career training services by expanding programmatic services such as life skills, career guidance, and internship placement activities, while also institutionalizing life skills within the Ministry of Labor (MOL) and increasing the capacity of 15 Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, EquipYouth Palestine was able to equip over 500 students with technical and life skills in the first year of the project, employing IYF’s signature Passport to Success curriculum.

This program is a qualitative addition ... to the vocational and technical training centers ... by bridging the gap between the requirements of the Palestinian labor market and the skills of male and female graduates of this sector.

—Sahar Othman, Executive Director, Economic Empowerment Association, Palestine

In partnership with USAID, IYF's Youth Entrepreneurship Development (YED) program (2010–2016) worked to equip young men and women with the technical and life skills to compete for jobs. Knowing that the economy can offer only a limited number of jobs, YED, as its name implies, also emphasized self-employment through small business training.

More than 17,000 Palestinian youth ages 18-29 benefited from employability and entrepreneurship training and career guidance services through YED. Through its Capacity Strengthening Process (CSP), YED worked with Palestinian youth-serving institutions to enhance their capacity on youth employability, entrepreneurship, and service learning. Capacity-strengthening activities, included training on IYF’s life skills program, Passport to Success, and I:SERVE, in addition to workshops on program design, career counseling, and on-the-job training.

The program strengthened the capacity of career and alumni departments of 11 universities and 54 high schools in the West Bank.

In 2021, IYF was delighted to announce a partnership with Mercy Corps to implement USAID's Palestine Positive Youth Engagement (PYE) Activity. Tailored to the Palestinian context, this holistic five-year program will support 50,000 adolescents with a menu of activities, opportunities for engagement and leadership, and resources to pursue their goals with hope for the future along peaceful and productive pathways.

As part of the PYE partnership, IYF will:

  • Provide technical leadership on and manage life skills training activities for all target age groups.
  • Provide technical expertise on and manage capacity strengthening interventions for youth-serving organizations and service providers.
  • Provide tools and expertise to integrate best practices in all areas of program design, and adapt relevant toolkits and curriculum.
  • Integrate relevant employability tools and best practices to employability models and approaches.

Additional Resources

To talk more about IYF's work with the Palestinian people, contact Husam Qaradeh, Palestine Country Director.

Funding Partners