Palestinians value education deeply. It helps widen perspectives, and creates new opportunities. But most importantly, education offers hope to young people who can feel very dispirited in the face of their people’s ongoing struggle for peace and equal rights. As one student put it: ‘When you are educated you defend your country in a non-violent way.’

Life under military occupation affects Palestinians on every level. It is extremely difficult for parents to pay for their children to go to university because of badly paid or insecure jobs or unemployment, and the many other stresses of daily life under occupation. Many students have to drop out before their studies are complete because there just isn’t enough money to continue paying the fees.

The Mandala Trust is partnering with Spring Up Foundation to help young people in the Occupied West Bank attend university or access vocational training, by granting partial further education scholarships. Applications are welcomed from young people living in or with family connections to Deir Istya, a village in the northern West Bank. Priority is given to students from lower income families and those who would be the first (or first of their gender) in their family to attend university.

Here is what student May Noman, 17, said in her application to Spring Up:

‘I believe in what Steve Jobs said: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Well, I am one of those crazy people, and I will do my best to change the world as we know it to a better place. I want to challenge myself, and to show to everyone who says “you can’t do it” that I have the ability. By working hard I can achieve my dreams.’

To find out more visit Spring Up Foundation’s Inspiration and Hope page.

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