GAZA SKY GEEKS & UK-BASED PARTNERS DELIVER INNOVATIVE & LIFE-CHANGING YALLA APPRENTICESHIP
NEW POSSIBILITIES DURING THE PANDEMIC
Israa, a 29-year-old mother from Gaza, graduated top of her class from the Islamic University majoring in computer engineering. Though Israa left university enthusiastic for the future and dreaming of a bright start in tech, her career did not launch immediately. After university, Israa got married, had children, and was a full-time mother for almost 6 years. At this time, Israa’s dream to have a career never faded, but she felt discouraged and at a loss as to how she would navigat her way back into the world of tech.
Feeling that she had missed the chance to pursue her dreams, Israa came across the application for Gaza Sky Geeks’ Code Academy on social media. Israa felt inspired to apply for this training, and after several months of a long application process, Israa was accepted. Unfortunately, the full-time, in-person nature of the program made it impossible for Israa to follow through, due to her childcare obligations. Israa had declined the original offer, only to re-apply and be accepted again after the program moved online due to the pandemic.
ISRAA & THE YALLA APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
Funded by Intersticia and Yalla Cooperative with support from Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG) and Founders and Coders (FAC), the Yalla Apprenticeship program allowed recent Gaza Sky Geeks graduates to earn a living wage, improve their soft and technical skills, and gain experience working within a digital agency. After her successful completion of the Gaza Sky Geeks Code Academy, Israa was chosen among 20 applicants to be part of the apprenticeship program:
“I worked hard for this apprenticeship; balancing the training, the assignments, and my household responsibilities. But the fact that I got accepted made me feel like Israa again, the top of her class student. It felt amazing to be able to return to my old self.”
Israa was nervous about this opportunity as she had never dealt with real clients before. But as soon as she started working, she felt a sense of belonging and increased confidence in herself as a developer.
“The Gaza Sky Geeks and Intersticia teams were extremely supportive, providing full support and assistance in our growth as developers and on a personal level. It was not just a learning experience, but also a supportive journey. I felt like a new Israa had been born after this apprenticeship! My English has greatly improved, as have my technical skills and personality, which have matured in a very professional manner.”
A DREAM REALIZED
Israa is now working full-time with Yalla as a developer. Gaza Sky Geeks is proud to have supported Israa’s journey, who exemplifies the characteristics of our community members: devoted, hard-working, and hungry to grow and achieve their dreams.
“I sometimes pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming. Last year, I had given up hope of ever finding work. But in less than a year, I joined the Code Academy, was accepted into the apprenticeship, and got a full-time job while staying at home with my children.”
Though Israa is currently in a wonderful job, she’s not done planning for the future. She hopes to one day seek higher education, teach at a university, and be a role model for her children and all mothers who wish to build careers and achieve their dreams.
TAKE PART IN A LIFE-CHANGING OPPORTUNITY FOR A DEVELOPER IN GAZA
Gaza Sky Geeks’ Talent Matching team pairs quality Palestinian tech talent in internships and as full-time hires with companies around the globe.
Reach out to the GSG Talent Matching Team at: www.gazaskygeeks.com/talent
Gaza Sky Geeks, established in 2011 by Mercy Corps with support from Google, is Palestine’s leading tech hub that trains, nurtures, and supports emerging tech talent with the goal of creating a sustainable and inclusive digital job market in Palestine.