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Igniting Peace and Prosperity in Gaza and Globally by Increasing Youth’s Expertise and Employment in ICT

GGateway kindles economic growth and peace in Gaza by cultivating young people’s expertise in ICT and building a viable outsourcing sector.

Photo of Rasha Abu Safieh
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Youth in Gaza are in crisis. A seemingly unending conflict and an 11-year economic blockade by Israel mean peace and prosperity remain elusive. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, unemployment in Gaza reached 60% among youth in 2017. Moreover, Palestinian youth (aged 15–25) have an inactivity rate of 63%, meaning they are neither students nor in the labor force – this rate is alarmingly high, 81%, among women. GGateway believes that when denied their basic needs, without a decent income and when their movement is restricted, youth may be led into violence. GGateway is empowering unemployed and underemployed Gazan youth to achieve economic self-sufficiency via training in in-demand IT and business skills and in employment in outsourced remote digital work. By harnessing technology to transcend the border restrictions imposed during the conflict, our project is an inventive and replicable tech-based solution that brings economic security to Gazan youth. The core segment of our project will target 270 graduates under 35, especially women, from low-income families who are underemployed or unemployed. GGateway will place them in a 2-month course in employability, business, freelancing and technical skills. We will then host 150 of the top participants in our co-working space (GHUB) for 4 months. At GHUB youth will generate foreign income through online freelancing platforms. During this period the project will provide office space, IT infrastructure, online learning resources, and coaches to boost their technical, English, and business skills and to introduce concepts in employability such as cultural fluency, international communication, and conflict resolution. An advisor will help youth map their careers based on online work opportunities. In addition, to encourage awareness of freelancing culture and create strong freelancing networks, GGateway will carry out 10 community outreach events to introduce freelancing to 500 participants.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

GGateway’s beneficiaries are selected based on social impact indicators to ensure that we serve Gazan youth who have limited or no employment opportunities due to the blockade imposed on Gaza. The criteria include but are not limited to socio-economic factors such as employment status, household size, age, and interest or education in ICT and business. In detail: 1. The project will serve 270 marginalized youth aged 20-35. 2. A total of at least 150 marginalized households with 900 family members shall have a source of sustainable income - generating US$77,000 during a pilot project’s lifespan in 2017/18. 3. 500 more youth will be introduced to freelancing, remote working, and online learning. 4. 50% of participants will be female. From a wider perspective, we are helping solve Palestine’s critical youth unemployment problem which has profound implications in terms of regional and global peace, therefore our beneficiaries are, in fact, all across the world.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

GGateway tackles the high youth unemployment in Gaza by training young people in the business and employability skills they require to be globally competitive, helping them to earn foreign income as professionals in the digital sector and thereby overcoming the travel restrictions imposed on Gaza. GGateway is concurrently building the local ICT sector, which has the potential to drive Gaza’s economic development. Our approach provides an end-to-end solution to unemployment in Gaza by empowering youth to be competitive on online freelancing platforms and hosting them long enough to begin a viable online business without having to cross borders that have been closed for the past 11 years. GGateway was created to fulfill an identified need, hence its success. It is the only social enterprise in Gaza that is equipping low-income underemployed and unemployed youth with the tech and soft skills they need to compete in the global outsourcing industry.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Founded in 2013 as a UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) initiative, GGateway creates opportunities for meaningful employment for Gazan youth by building their professional competencies in ICT, providing professional employment in the digital outsourcing market, and by supplying Gazan ICT expertise to clients all over the world.

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

GGateway is inspired by the tenacity of the young people of Gaza, who despite the political and economic situation they live in, continue to value and pursue education and employment. The eleven-year economic blockade has dismantled the economy and travel is restricted, limiting opportunities for growth and economic and social security for most young people. GGateway’s quest is to give youth from Gaza prospects for a stable income, meaningful employment, and opportunities beyond its borders.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The global repercussions of the religious and political tensions in Gaza notwithstanding, the ongoing blockade and recurrent hostilities in Gaza have made the experience of being young extremely difficult for Gazan youth. Its widely acknowledged that the situation in the Middle East has an enormous influence on the wellbeing of youth across the region, and globally, and is even used as a call to arms among religious extremists. The critical years in which young people dream and pursue their dreams are now dominated by war and siege. The conflict has caused the economy's de-development and damaged vital infrastructure. The reality for Gazan youth is that 80% of the population live below the poverty line and that many will spend a lifetime on humanitarian aid. By providing professional development and viable work prospects, GGateway is helping to bring optimism and opportunity to a generation that has grown up surrounded by conflict and to instigate prosperity as a route to peace.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

GGateway will work with partners, some of whom we’ve worked with before (e.g. Building Women’s Capacity in the Workforce project funded by the Basque Government in Dec 2016 – Dec 2017, which trained 45 female ICT graduates, 50% of whom found work as a result). Our network will include groups such as Gaza Freelancing Spaces, ICT associations such as the Palestinian Information and Communication Technology Association, and universities. In addition, influencers will increase the public’s knowledge of our project. These include the media, government officials, and community and religious leaders. Furthermore, our projects will employ service providers and specialists, all of whom will benefit economically. These include implementing specialists, Internet providers, and equipment suppliers. Critical to our work are our funders and clients who enable us to operate. Our clients include UNRWA and UN Women. Our funders encompass UNFPA and the Korean International Cooperation Agency.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Tenacity: Faced with the protracted conflict and its physical, mental, and economic impact, the youth of Gaza have shown themselves to be resilient and resourceful in continuing their family, communal, and individual lives. A Value for Education: Despite a system that is failing and in disrepair, Gaza’s literacy rate stands at 98%, almost 250,000 people are in tertiary education and 1,000 graduate in ICT annually - a testimony to how much Gazan youth value education as a means to empowerment.

Geographic Focus

Gaza, Palestine

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

The project will be implemented in 28 months. Our activities will run simultaneously to maximize the time available. Training - Month 1 – 2: Conduct initial preparations and screen potential participants - Month 3 – 21: Train 18 groups (270 trainees) Hosting - Month 6 – 25: Host 18 groups (159 trainees) at our GHUB workshops - Month 7 – 23: Hold 6 workshops for 500 participants We will monitor and evaluate our progress regularly, striving to continually improve and refine our project.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

Attachments (1)

GGateway-Open IDEO BridgeBuilder User Experience Map.pdf

Follow the Naheel's story in our User Experience Map.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Vyonne Akoth

Dear Rasha,

I love your idea of ensuring young people get access to employment having gained expertise in ICT. The on going conflict in Gaza can dampen the spirit of young people who deserve a better future. You are doing a fantastic job making employment and a brighter future possible for them. Well done and keep it up.

Photo of Rasha Abu Safieh

Dear Vyonne,
Thank you so much for your nice words and feedback, we are trying to do our best :) people all the time should come first, we are trying to create hope despite all the crisis around us.

Best regards

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