Empowering young women at the Baramij Laha Program: Palestine
Here at codeHER, we believe that if you give a girl the right tools and skills, they can change the world. Empowered young women can be the future problem solvers that the world is desperately in need of. Through all codeHER programs, girls around the world have a chance to acquire technical and leadership skills. Since the pandemic has complicated the possibilities to meet live, codeHER ran its first virtual program – the Social-Entrepreneurship Baramij Laha Program in Palestine.
Twenty-five young women from Palestine joined our intensive five-week training Baramij Laha Program to learn leadership abilities and technical skills. During that period, women ages 18-25 worked in small groups and created their social-impact organizations. Teams of women identified problems within their community and offered solutions with the help of technology.
Each team tackled a separate issue. Issues covered included women’s rights awareness, preserving environmental resources, graduate unemployment, mental health awareness, women’s unemployment, etc. Each group had its own mentor and adviser who guided them through the process of creating their community organizations.
At the capstone of the project, the students presented their start-up ideas during a structured session. In return, they got valuable feedback from global professionals. The most impactful projects were awarded, thereby encouraging and celebrating participants’ ideas.
“My journey in the Baramij Laha social entrepreneurship incubator was wonderful. I gained several skills that have improved my personality and how to deal with community problems,” recalls Nevin Al Najjar, a 23 year old woman from Gaza who was on Team Eve, a team that created a solution for the waste food problem by linking environmental protection with the spirit of volunteering through modern means of communication.
Another participant, Fatima Mousa, a 21 year old woman who studies information systems at the Palestine Polytechnic University and a member of Team Fosha, a team that created a project to increase the psychological awareness of women, also had a positive experience. “Baramij Laha was the name of a program that caught my eyes. Since the first meeting, the enthusiasm increased with each session, each one was designed to teach us a new skill such as designing logos, designing websites, and editing videos while always charging us with positive energy.”
Alaa Al-Amleh, a 22 year old from Nablus studying political science, was on Team EXPoints. She stated that “It was a great opportunity for me to join the Baramij Laha program. I learned a lot starting from the concept of social entrepreneurial projects, and how to employ technology to serve our ideas. I was part of ‘EXPoints’ team which introduced me to new friends who worked hard during the program. In the end, I am thankful for this unique experience that helped me gain many new skills.”
Technical education and leadership skills
The Baramij Laha Program aims to equip economically disadvantaged young women with the necessary technical skills and leadership abilities. It allows them to tackle issues they are passionate about and prepare them for global career opportunities in the 21st century. The program also prepares young women to become leaders in their communities.
Teams of young women get to create apps, websites, social media accounts, logos, marketing videos, digital presentations, and proposals for their organizations. This teaches them the essential technical skills to advance in their careers.
There were five teams in the program: Eve, EXPoints, Womenity, Fosha, and Link Her Legacy.
The members of Team Eve were Nevin Ibrahim Alnajjar, Isra’a Othman Omari, Sajeda Basem Ali, and Safaa Thabet Sbakhi. Their idea was preserving the environment by reducing food waste and providing the ability to donate and access food in a safe and healthy way to the needy.
The members of Team EXPoints were Samah Ahmad Daraghmeh, Donia Ibrahim Hussein Abayat, and Ala’a Hussain Amleh. Their idea was to create the platform EXPoints, which brings together experts who are able to provide academic and practical training courses for university graduates seeking experience and others who seek to gain knowledge.
The members of Team Womenity were Sundus Ayman Al Fararja, Gharam Khader Issa, Ghyada Ibrahim Dweib, and Sanabel Ayman Al-Fararja. Their idea was to start the project Womenity, which aims to establish a nonprofit educational foundation that aims to combat all forms of violence against Palestinian women. It seeks to reach marginalized Palestinian women and educate them about their rights by providing simple information that includes psychological and legal counseling according to the legislation in Palestine.
The members of Fosha were Fatima Mousa Harahsheh, Amal Mursy Khalefa, and Enas Mohammad Abu Ewaida. Their idea was to start Fos7a, a project that aims to increase psychological awareness of women with the aim of solving problems of gender-based violence and psychological problems such as depression, persistent sadness, isolation, anxiety, fear, tension, social phobia, loss of self-confidence, and the fear of mixing and forming relationships.
Team Link Her Legacy
The members of Team Link Her Legacy were Hejr Muhammad Ali Al-Batran, Omaima Aiman Alshami, Kareema Omar Dababat, Alaa Omar Iwaisi, and Mai Majed Barakat. They started Link Her Legacy as a link between talented women, small businesses, and clients interested in the services provided. Women will be able to display and sell their products through the site. In addition, they will be able to gain skills through offering paid courses for those interested in a particular trade.
After the teams presented their ideas to the judges, the judges then determined the winning teams. The winner for the best problem statement was Team Eve. Team Womanity won under the category of best innovative name. The winner for the best website structure was EXPoints. Best visual identity was secured by Team Fosha. And finally, the winner for the best app structure was Team LinkHerLegacy.
First Virtual Program
In 2018 and 2019, the Baramij Laha Program, held entirely in Arabic, has run in-person in Kenitra, Rabat, Agadir, Morocco. It was funded by the U.S. Embassy in Rabat (via a U.S. State Department Public Diplomacy Grant) in 2019. This year, the program was run remotely and led by Rana Obiat, codeHER's Middle East and North Africa Program Director.