On Monday, March 22, 2021, GGateway, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program / Program for Assistance to the Palestinian People in the Gaza Strip, held a workshop entitled “The Future of Digital Work.” Several international and educational institutions and private companies were invited to participate in the workshop’s activities to discuss many topics about digital development and how it can help reduce unemployment. The workshop included presenting the success stories of students who joined the project.
The workshop was inaugurated by the project manager at GGateway, Muhammad Farwana, with a welcoming speech and a talk about the project and its achievements. There were two discussion sessions on the reality and future of digital work. Muhammad Farwana opened the first session, “The Reality of Digital Work,” in which Eng. Islam Mazyad, Chief Technology Officer, GGateway, Eng. Ismail Al-Wahidi and Eng. Fadwa Aweidah, trainers, and supervisors in freelancing skills contributed fruitfully to the discussion. This session addressed the reality of digital work in the Gaza Strip within freelancing and digital work. It provided perspectives on the reality of digital work, particularly in Palestine and the Gaza Strip.
The second discussion session revolved around “The Future of Digital Work.” This session was moderated by Khaled Nabhan, a business development specialist in the program and director of creativity at Gateway, Hani Shehadeh, representative of the Education Above All Foundation, Hala Othman, Director of Environment and Poverty Alleviation Programs at the United Nations Development Program, Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People, Ashraf El Yazouri, General Manager of Vision Plus, and Mohamed Farwana, Project Manager of GGateway.
The session discussed the future of digital work and its dimensions in the Gaza Strip within horizons of; Self-employment, freelancing, outsourcing, e-commerce, and digital entrepreneurship. The session provides perspectives on future aspirations for Palestine and the Gaza Strip’s potential, particularly in digital work.
Apex (E-Work) project is part of Al Fakhoora Scholarship and Empowerment Program, it aims to develop practical technical aspects and self-employment skills for graduates of Al Fakhoora Scholarship and Empowerment Program to qualify and refine their abilities, providing them with contemporary useful tools and skills to suit the requirements of work in freelancing platforms. This will assist graduates in creating job opportunities through freelancing and the remote work market.
Since the beginning of the program, 91 graduates from Al Fakhoora Scholarship and Empowerment Program have been selected to join the project’s technical training phase, which consists of 70 training hours in five different areas: digital marketing, translation, web application development (WordPress), virtual assistant, and graphic design. The selected beneficiaries were divided into six training groups with 15-20 beneficiaries each. 45 of the 91 beneficiaries selected in the technical training phase qualified for the freelancing and business skills training phase based on a competitive assessment process.
The freelancing and business skills training phase consists of 78 training hours. It includes four main components: Freelance platforms and employment skills, technical English writing for freelancing, soft skills, and digital marketing skills for freelancing. The best 35 achievers from the Technical, Freelancing, and Business Skills training phases were selected to be hosted within the GGateway co-working space (GHub) for two and a half months.
During the hosting phase, beneficiaries receive technical guidance and mentoring on freelancing skills as well as specialized career path advice from professional mentors. Hosted beneficiaries receive personalized workspaces, as well as online learning resources based on their specific needs. The purpose of the hosting phase for the beneficiaries is to impart the knowledge gained in both technical and freelancing skills training and thus be eligible to receive and generate sustainable income. By the end of the project, all hosted beneficiaries managed to get online jobs with a grand total earning of 43,000 USD throughout the hosting phase.
It is worth mentioning that the project closing ceremony was held last week on Sunday, March 14, 2021. It included a speech from UNDP’s representative, Ms. Chitose Noguchi, and another speech for the AL Fakhoora program delivered by the representative of Education above All, Hani Shehadah. During the ceremony, certificates were distributed to the beneficiaries and trainers of the program. Al Fakhoora Scholarship and Empowerment Program is funded by Al Fakhoora Program, one of the Education Above All Foundation programs in Qatar, and implemented by UNDP/PAPP in partnership with the NGOs.