Celebrating ten years of Gaza scholarships

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An event to celebrate the links between Sheffield and Palestine has been held at Sheffield Town Hall.

The event, earlier this week, marked International Women’s Day, as well as the 10th anniversary of the Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund.

The celebration, hosted by the Lord Mayor, Coun Denise Fox, brought together speakers and the voices of the Gazan women students that have been supported by the fund in the last decade.

The Scholarship Fund started with three students in 2007 and last year sponsored 39 women into higher education.

A spokesman for the fund said: “We have provided a total of 216 annual scholarships of £6-1,500, to over 70 students. We hope and expect to have raised a total of more than £100,000 by the end of our tenth year.”

Dr Mona El Farra, from the Red Crescent Society and Middle East Children’s Alliance, is the fund’s link in Gaza. She said: “This is proof of how acts of solidarity and the power of education are having a real impact on the lives of women in the Gaza Strip.

“We couldn’t have done it without your solidarity, making real change in these young women’s lives. The students don’t know your names but they do know that increasing numbers of people are donating for them and working hard to make the world a better place.

“By awarding scholarships, people in Sheffield and across the UK are acting in solidarity with the Palestinian people, to ensure the right to education that everyone in the world in entitled to. Please pledge your support for these young Palestinian women students so that they can achieve their ambition of a university education and the chance to make something of their lives.”