Rasha

Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2015

IMPACT: ECONOMIC

Creating pathways to information & communications tech jobs in Gaza.

How are you impacting your community?

After earning a degree in Information Technology Systems from the Islamic University of Gaza, I worked as a systems analyst and software developer for three years before moving into the academic sector to serve as head of information technology and registration at the University. I then moved into the INGO world as the head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Mercy Corps International’s education program, and as the lead for the advisory committee on education and training. Since starting my career, I have been attracted to social change, particularly in difficult communities with few opportunities for women, and I am inspired by the significant role technology plays in creating change.

I recently founded “Gaza Gateway,” a social enterprise that aims to create a bridge between ICT graduates and private sector employers to bring tech jobs to Gaza. As a market actor in its own right, Gaza Gateway will provide the first end-to-end solution for the ICT sector’s needs by hiring recent graduates to deliver commercial outsourcing projects and in turn providing them with skills and competency training. Through this approach, Gaza Gateway will create a solution to Gaza’s issues of private sector employability and marketing.

Project participants will leave the Gateway after one year and bring employable resumes and sound entry-level skills into Gaza’s private sector. In order to overcome Gaza’s marketing and delivery challenges, the Gateway will provide a first-rate set of personal, project, and risk management skills. It will also transfer these skills to Gazan firms through commercial small and medium-sized enterprise training. As each group of participants leaves the enterprise for employment in local companies, the Gateway can subcontract to the participants’ new employers. The Gateway will introduce new outsourcing buyers to Gaza through this two-stage process, first delivering and then handing over projects—as well as a skilled workforce—to Gazan firms.

Education

• Islamic University of Gaza, Information Technology Systems

In the press

UNRWA develops cutting-edge poverty assessment software technology that “knows no borders” (UNRWA)

“One of the most interesting things that I got from this fellowship program that I've been introduced to an amazing group.  I got training and coaching and mentorship.  The advice that I got from the group in a way that will help me to manage my project and that will open channels also in order to seek support and resources and all of these things together made me be able to be more focused and more able to continue to do my project in a better way.”