When will it be more than just a day to honor the unemployed workers?
By: Eng. Mohammad Hasna
The tears preceded his words which stammered with his lips shaking. He was talking to me with his hope-filled eyes, “Please, do not refuse my application. I finished my study hopefully I can set a small family and have a job that guarantees my humanity and dignity. Though, years go past while I’m still dreaming. My family demands are a chasing heavy burden which scattered what had left of my face-saving in front of them. Please, give me a job even being a caretaker with a salary cut!”
He can’t tolerate the pain anymore as it goes beyond the man’s ability, especially when his baby girl asks him for something he can’t afford. His eyes were flooded with tears… How precious the man’s tears are! How high-minded they are! That scene has clearly declared that who is presenting before me is human remains. His will and dignity were scattered by poverty.
It’s one of the tragedies which never stop. We may think about it proposing solutions to come to a result, yet there is much passing by while the only thing we can do for them is to pray.
According to the International Labour Organization, the percentage of unemployed reached 44.8% in Gaza Strip which equals 200 thousand persons. While other sources state that the percentage overpasses 65%. As well, the official estimations point to 40%.
This conflict in information and statistics refers to how far we are from solving the problem of the unemployed and setting relevant plans for them.
Those shocking huge numbers have been receiving blows since the siege imposed on Gaza Strip besides the systematic target of the Strip economy. More blows mean more unemployed which portends a true social disaster initially represented in begging, introversion, and the men’s inability to meet their families need.
This issue leaves a clear poorness to be locally solved or contained without a foreign interference. Despite of the local attempts, they are still bellow the required level and without a touchable effect.
The unemployed tragedy made me remember a pioneer programme for solving their crisis. Although it has been stopped working for a while, its effects are still seen. It’s Takaful programme to hire the unemployed. In spite of the huge challenges, who were in charge could provide thousands jobs where many families got benefited, many projects were implemented, and many children were satisfied.
That experience embedded the most gracious human cohesion stories. It was a complete unison between a group of donors launching from a true social demand and executive institutions raising the slogan “A human massage is professionally performed according to the impartiality and transparency principles”. Truly it was the most successful temporary working programme on both the level of the number of workers who got employed and the level of the developmental projects implemented by Takaful workers. They played a great role in restoring destroyed agricultural lands in addition to the services sector such as cleaning the public utilities, streets tree planting, and opening gardens for the besieged people of Gaza Strip. Not ending with the health and education sectors, the programme provided them with maintenance, security, and cleaning works. The programme also participated in removing the demolition ruins and renovating some of the destroyed buildings during the aggressive war launched on Gaza Strip at the end of 2008.
For solving the unemployed problem, it’s not enough to return Takaful programme back. We need to gather the efforts of donors, government, and institutions in accordance with setting a plan which bases upon the workers’ needs and fulfill a continuous development for society with a long-range effect.
For donors, they should spend amounts that satisfy the people’s basic needs according to the developmental approach, not the relieving.
For the Palestinian government, it should pay much more attention for the unemployed problem, activate their issues on the international and local levels, specify a space for discussing their issues in media and the circle of decision-makers, rationalize the expenses and transfer money for the benefit of the labour fund, and implement the project of social solidarity.
Our local institutions have a vital role in dealing with the unemployed case. They should contact with donors according to the developmental scope, shed the light on the unemployed issues and necessarily interfere for their interest, and finally they should avoid implementing traditional projects for solving the crisis as possible.
Translated by: Reda Al-Zahar