Work Without Borders

The Wamd Project for Productive Families

© Shareef Sarhan, UNDP/PAPP image bank.
© Shareef Sarhan, UNDP/PAPP image bank.

 

Work Without Borders is a creative enterprise based in Gaza that aims to provide job opportunities to skilled Palestinians through work from afar and outsourcing. It offers overseas clients the opportunity to employ Palestinian expertise with creative potential and to provide the resources necessary to guarantee a decent work environment. This pioneering initiative in the State of Palestine, and more specifically in Gaza, helps to overcome the blockade, captivate young talented graduates, and provide competition with well-established outsourcing hubs such as Egypt and India.

Work Without Borders was the first to partner with UNDP to implement the Wamd initiative, with funding from the Islamic Development Bank. The program seeks to widen employment opportunities for young professionals through remote business and e-work, enabling them to operate as employees and contractors for businesses or institutions abroad. The program also targets productive families, identified through the DEEP program, and trains them on the use of e-marketing to sell their products. Around 120 individuals are e-marketing their products and have increased their income and improved their livelihoods. Sixteen programmers from poor families have also been introduced to the external labor market, and ten individuals have been employed as outsourced service providers.

© Shareef Sarhan, UNDP/PAPP image bank.
© Shareef Sarhan, UNDP/PAPP image bank.

Ahmad is 26 years old and the only breadwinner for his family of seven since his father died. He has two sisters who study at university and two brothers in high school. He explains, “I joined the Faculty of Information Technology Engineering at Al-Azhar University because of my lifelong love for programming and computers. My father died in the same year. I worked during my studies so that I could support my family. After I finished my studies, I went to look for a job but did not even get an interview since most of the jobs required experience. After a period of time, I got a job through the Engineers Syndicate as a trainee and then on a monthly contract.

Desperate to get a job in my area of expertise, I started to search online for job opportunities. I found a training opportunity, and then I was hired. I was contacted to sit for an exam, which I passed successfully. Afterwards I was trained by two prominent programmers in a training environment that was designed to prepare the trainee to work directly. Most of the applicants were hired by Work Without Borders to provide online services in various companies.

I was accepted as part of a team of eight programmers to work with a Saudi company. Wamd provided me with the first real opportunity to work and train. I never imagined that there would be a place that could prepare and support us so well to enter the labor market.

I can say that Wamd provides serious training for direct employment and prepares people for the real labor market. In addition, it closes the gap between university education and market requirements. Trainees become familiar with the requirements of the market and how they can build and develop their abilities to get a job anywhere.”