As a 16-year old he dropped out of school to help support his family. Almost twenty years later he participated in the Made in Palestine-competition – and won!
A dream that came true
“Al-Nayzak M.I.P. competition was a dream come true to me, it raised my self confidence and helped me find new opportunities for work and developed my talents.”, says Ahmad Saleh Hassouneh.
Ahmad Saleh Hassouneh was wounded during the second Intifada and has a handicap and his two-year old daughter was killed by Israeli soldiers during the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Motor operated on air instead of petrol
- I had a big family, and therefore, I had to leave school at the age of 16, in order to work and bring some income for my family. Despite the difficult economic and political circumstances that I lived in, I have always been interested in science and technology and doing something innovative within the field of mechanics. I took many courses at different youth clubs and one day I heard about Al-Nayzak’s "M.I.P” competition, he says.
And his idea of using air in operating a motor instead of petrol proved successful.
Part of Diakonia's civil society program
Made in Palestine is funded by the organization Al Nazyak, a partner organization of Diakonia. Made in Palestine is also part of one of Diakonia’s broader programs, Palestine civil society program. Through this program Diakonia works on Palestinian occupied territory together with a large number of partners to strengthen women’s rights, and the respect for human rights, as well as promoting democracy.
Focuses on young people, and women in particular
There are over 3.5 million people living in the Palestine, where young people constitute the majority of the population (about 2/3 are under the age of 30).
One of the most significant problems faced by this majority is poverty, scarcity of education and job opportunities. And here Made in Palestine plays an important role in encouraging young Palestinians to be innovative, and connecting them with businesses looking for able employees. An important focus is to engage young women in the project.
- Having reached so many women is one of the biggest success with Made in Palestine, because the innovative industrial and scientific sector has so far been reserved for men in our society, says Safa Abu Assab, who’s in charge of Diakonia’s CivSam-program.
Develop entrepreneurial skills
Made in Palestine aims at continuing with the process of developing the entrepreneurial skills of innovative Palestinian youth, so that they know their rights and work for change. Thus, the overall goal is to encourage youth to produce, in order to make positive changes in their personal and national economic situations. Working directly with innovative youth will lead to the achievement of social and economic justice.
- Al-Nayzak trained me on different mechanical, technical, technological skills that enabled me to turn my dream project into a reality. It simply changed my life for the better, says Ahmad Saleh Hassouneh.
See movie from Made in Palestine in 2012
The 2012 Made in Palestine competition was visited by Diakonia's general secretary Bo Forsberg. Al Nayzak made an interview with him during his visit: