Interview: True Matilda
Politics: State of Play
Industrial: Capital Dilemmas
Unions: Rhodes Scholars
National Focus: Rennovating the Lodge
International: People Power
Economics: A Bit Rich
History: Mine Shafts
Safety: Sick Of Fighting
Organising: Building a Wave
Poetry: Anger In The Bush(es)
Review: The Battle Of Algiers
Culture: The Word On The Street
The Locker Room
Co-operating At All Costs
All Good Except You
Women to Women
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA has been working with Palestinian refugees for 20 years. One of the projects we assist is a scholarship program with our partner the Women's Humanitarian Organisation (WHO) for needy Palestinian women living in the Burj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon. Australian women support these scholarships through APHEDA's 'Women to Women' donations program.
Nada is 20, the second oldest daughter in a family of 11 children. The family came to live in Burj el-Barajneh camp in 1992. They had been expelled from their land in Palestine in 1967 and then lived in an unofficial 'gathering place'.
Their father supports the family through a marginal corner shop in the camp and they live together in a crowded apartment. Unlike many camp young people, Nada finished high school and graduated from the UNRWA school with her Baccalaureate. Nada decided to study because, she said, 'four others in my family have studied business at college [aid-funded vocational college] and none of them are working in their area - I thought I would try something else'. Nada receives a scholarship through this program.
She enrolled in nursing training in the Bahman Hospital, the best hospital near Burj el-Barajneh. She is the only Palestinian in her intake. The fees are high, compared to local incomes: approximately Aus $1800/year. Nada is bonded to work in the hospital when she completes her three-year course, so her fees are slightly discounted. Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA's 'Women to Women' donors paid a proportion of her first year fees. The rest of her fees are paid through the efforts of her sister Suha, a community worker. Suha has recently pulled out of her own university studies so she can afford to support Nada.
Nada hopes to be able to continue her studies into 2005 but if not, says she will just stay at home. She knows that there are many other young Palestinians who need help, and so is not necessarily expecting more support from WHO or APHEDA.
Nada says 'my dream is to finish studying and have a job. And be free from all things'.
A recent letter from Nada to The Women top Women Program Donors
From: Nada Hussein
To: Women to Women Program
Let me start my letter by thanking you for the scholarship you gave me for my first study year of the three years in a nursing institute.
It's my pleasure to tell you that without your effort to support me I couldn't continue my studying because of my bad economy situation.
I'm 20 years old and I'm the fifth daughter of a big family consisting of twelve members. My two sisters are responsible for the family because my father is unemployed as many people on our community.
Thank you again hoping you'll continue this grateful support and to help young girls to improve their status and equip them with a good skill to be able to face their difficult situation.
I wish you all the best.
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