Story

Resilient young Syrian proves benefit of TVET education with support from Korea and UNESCO

20/05/2020
Amman, Jordan
04 - Quality Education
05 - Gender Equality

Chaza Aladawi, 22, doesn’t know a lot about giving up. Originally, from Syria, Chaza came to Jordan with her family in 2002 and settled in Amman.  

“When I was younger, I wanted to grow up to be a dentist”, shared Chaza.

At 18, Chaza concluded her secondary school studies and entered the world of work.

I tried out a lot of different jobs, trying to find out what I liked. I worked as a secretary, then a dental assistant, then a sales representative and finally, at a hair salon. But none of it felt like me. My mom works as a professional chef and I had always been curious about pursuing that

Chaza Aladawi

When she saw the Korea-funded scholarship opportunities at Luminus Technical University College (formerly Al Quds College) being advertised on Facebook, Chaza was quick to apply. The scholarships are offered as part of the UNESCO “Provision of TVET for vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian Refugee Youth” project, implemented with generous funding and strong partnership from the Government of the Republic of Korea.

Chaza was accepted into the hospitality programme and began her studies during Ramadan of 2019. “At first, it was hard but I still enjoyed it. Our class instructors were really smart, showing us how to deliver on ideas”.

During her studies, Chaza learned about hosting, service and presentation, professional reception skills, in addition to cooking expertise. Chaza was pleased to have an opportunity to absorb such a wide-range of skills. “In order to excel as a trained chef, you have to learn the whole package that comes with working in a restaurant”.

With her studies completed and her on-the-job training accomplished, Chaza soon found a job cooking in a restaurant in Amman. “When I’m cooking, I feel a sense of accomplishment”.

During each of the three phases of this UNESCO project, 250 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) scholarships have been offered to vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugee youth in Jordan. As the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, UNESCO has been charged with leading and coordinating the Education 2030 Agenda along with its partners. Sustainable Development Goal 4 is centered upon inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.

UNESCO and Korea have been working to support access to meaningful, accredited post-basic education. This year, 98 vulnerable Jordanian youth and 110 Syrian refugee youth were enrolled in TVET studies in a series of six disciplines. Approximately 208 students will soon receive their graduate diplomas.

Korea is pleased to see the positive impact of this critical programme, improving the lives of Jordanian youth and Syrian refugees and stimulating the economy of Jordan. We look forward to continuing to provide this valuable support

His Excellency Lee Jae-wan, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Jordan

At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in Jordan, Chaza received news from her employer that the restaurant would be closing temporarily. “At first, I had a hard time sitting at home, and worried that the restaurant might fire me or cut off my salary. I miss cooking for people a lot, and the escapism it offers me”, said Chaza. “After a while, I realized that if we stay at home, we will reduce the danger of getting more people sick. In my time off, I am trying to learn more about Arab cuisine, improving at preparing it with the correct spices”. Chaza is grateful to have had the opportunity to learn such practical skills and thankful to be returning to her job at the restaurant this week.