LWF vocational training center, Augusta-Victoria- Hospital and historic ordination
(LWI) - During her first visit to the Holy Land and the Middle East as General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Rev. Dr. Anne Burghardt had a chance to learn first-hand about the work of the LWF country program in Jerusalem, including the Vocational Training Centers and the Augusta Victoria Hospital.
She also met with leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), a member church of the LWF, and participated in the ordination of Rev. Sally Azar, the first Palestinian woman to be ordained as a pastor in the country.
Going ‘that one step further’
LWF World Service, the humanitarian and development arm of the LWF, runs two Vocational Training Centers in Palestine: one in Beit Hanina (Jerusalem) and one in Ramallah in the West Bank.
Training programs currently include carpentry, auto-mechanics, graphic design and printing, interior decoration, aluminum work, vocational secretary, telecommunications, and green energy (solar panel installation).
I believe the training centers play a very crucial role in giving a perspective to these women, and giving them the possibility of being breadwinners themselves, to contribute with their gifts, and to develop their professional interests.
Rev. Dr. Anne BURGHARDT, LWF General Secretary
“I believe the training centers play a very crucial role in giving a perspective to Palestinians to be able to live and earn their living in their country,” reflected General Secretary Burghardt. “It is also a very important tool for empowering women, and it was encouraging to see how the number of women graduates has increased during the years, across different curricula.”
The centers are more than a place for learning a trade or profession. As part of the LWF’s commitment to gender justice, the centers work intentionally with partners and the local private sector to lower the barriers particularly for young women and women with disability to be able to access training as well as actual work after graduation.