16.06.2017 - UNESCO Office in Ramallah

Prince Nayef Ben Abdel Aziz community libraries provided access to vulnerable Palestinian University Students


The Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIP), in partnership with UNESCO Ramallah Office, organized a conference on promoting access to higher education for vulnerable students in Palestine, which took place on 15 June 2017 in Ramallah. The aim of the event was to present the accomplishments, success stories and challenges encountered during the implementation of the project entitled “Support programme for Palestinian university students under conditions of severe poverty”, funded by the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People. Through the project coordinated by UNESCO, 12 community libraries have been established in the West Bank and Gaza in the name of Prince Nayef Ben Abdel Aziz.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Lodovico Folin Calabi, Representative of UNESCO to Palestine highlighted the importance of accessing higher education for the social and economic development of society and that young women and men all over the world are the drivers of social change and innovation. He further reiterated that UNESCO will further support the enhancement of lifelong learning for all towards increasing higher education opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged young men and women in Palestine.

During the event, UNESCO presented the main outcomes of the project, demonstrating how these outcomes fit within the broader framework of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), more specifically on the promotion of lifelong learning. Librarians and library volunteers presented their personal success stories on how the libraries have become an important academic network and social support system for thousands of higher education students in Palestine.

The president of the HDIP, Dr Mustapha Barghouti, thanked the library volunteers who are the real success of this project and further reiterated that the community libraries are not only about education, but about expanding the knowledge and the capacity of students. A representative from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Dean of Student Affairs at Birzeit Univeristy also spoke at the event.

Since the start of the project, Prince Najef Ben Abdel Aziz libraries have provided support to more than 24,000 vulnerable higher education students through the provision of textbooks, trainings, scientific research support, and photocopying services.

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