Educating Girls: #usaidwbg Storytelling Series

A compilation of visual narratives from the field

Illustration by Mayra Magalhaes

Meet Abeer: Abeer loves her job as a principal at Saffa Girls School in the West Bank. She cares about each of the 497 students at her school. She feels empowered by the training she and the school teachers received with USAID support.

Photo by Bobby Neptune for USAID

Meet Dalal: Dalal is a 12th-grade student here. She wants to become a lawyer. Soon she will graduate and follow a path different from some of her peers, who dropped out of school due to early marriage.

“I think it’s very important to educate yourself.” — Dalal
Photo by Bobby Neptune for USAID

Meet Nicole: Nicole is a 5th-grade student at the Saffa Girls School. Her favorite subject is English and she wants to be a doctor. She is thankful for the renovations that USAID provided to the aging school, including its 28 classrooms, playground, drinking fountain, and the construction of a protective wall to ensure that students have a safe place to learn.

Photo by Bobby Neptune for USAID

With these renovations and support, the Saffa School girls are learning more than ever. So are the other 230,000 female students who have benefited from USAID programs in the West Bank and Gaza in the past two decades.

The Saffa Girls School is one of 57 West Bank schools whose teachers and administrators received training through USAID’s Model School Network Program, a five-year initiative developing a network of schools to set the standard for improving the quality of education in the West Bank.

Since 2008, USAID has constructed nearly 3,000 classrooms in the West Bank, allowing many schools to reduce class size and eliminate the need for students to learn in shifts. USAID has trained 4,300 teachers and principals and has given 1,300 scholarships to female students.

Saffa Girls’ School. / Photo by Bobby Neptune for USAID

This blog is part of USAID’s West Bank and Gaza storytelling series. It is a compilation of stories of individuals, families and communities working to improve their societies — towards growth and progress. They are the inspiring stories of people we work with.

Explore more stories from the Middle East. Check out more video portraits at USAID’s storytelling hub. Follow @USAIDWBG @USAIDMiddleEast and @USAID.


About the Author

Sahar Kalifa is the Director of Communications at USAID’s mission to the West Bank and Gaza. Most recently, she led several campaigns for USAID including the agency’s first regional communications initiative. In this capacity, she produced new content for USAID’s storytelling and multimedia platforms focusing on human interest stories from around the world.