“Our work as a training centre is helping mitigate conflict and transforming the face of Israel’s politics with its neighbours. Despite the animosity that exists between our country and Palestine, we bring Palestinian women into this centre for training, and the change that takes place when women sit together for a few days in a safe space is amazing. Women want peace for their children, not war.”
These sentiments were shared by Hava Karrie, Director of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MASHAV)’s Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Centre (MCTC), located in Haifa, Israel.
MASHAV was founded in late 1957, and is responsible for the design, coordination and implementation of the State of Israeli’s development cooperation programs. In turn MCTC was established by MASHAV in 1961 to assist in the training of women engaged on community work in the newly emerging states in Africa and Asia.
On the 8th of May MCTC graduated thirty participants, twenty seven women and three men from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and South Sudan. Participants had completed a specialised training on Women’s Economic Empowerment amid pomp and ceremony, and in the presence of the Ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel as well as members of the Diplomatic corps from Africa. The training was designed and organised in partnership between MCTC and UN Women East and Southern Africa Regional Office.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Hava Karrie Emphasised that to repair the world and mitigate the current global hunger and poverty, men must work hand in hand with and in support of women’s initiatives for economic empowerment.
“As women we cannot afford to watch our spaces deteriorate into war zones, we emphasize on peaceful non-violent ways of building sustainable peace and development, and we do this as a way of transforming conflict into peace. We strive to set best practices for our men to emulate. As an institution we believe in creating strategic partnerships globally to share methodologies and a common vision on transitioning from traditional to modern oriented agriculture in the face of climate change. We also emphasise on education, creativity and innovativeness, as well as on adult education and training of trainers to bridge the existing educational gaps between women and men, and to ultimately bring gender equality, sustainable development and lasting peace.”
MASHAV produces hundreds of graduates in different areas of expertise every year, and is also sending medical personnel to treat people across the globe, in addition to coordinating human assistance and offering crisis response where needed.