Jabal Al-Hoss, a rural region in south east Syria, is comprised of 156 villages. The richness of color and natural beauty in the area provides stark contrast to the poverty in which the majority of the regions estimated 250,000 people live. Not only an area marked by drought and limited natural resources, the residents of Jabal Al-Hoss have limited access to educational opportunities. 80% of the villages have no middle schools and the entire region shares only 3 high schools!
The UNDP Rural Community Development Project is looking to change that. It has made considerable contributions to improving educational services in the area through literacy and vocational training courses, as well as recently establishing a new kindergarten.
The Jabal Al-Hoss project recognizes the vital role of women in development. Fully literate women are given the skills necessary to become teachers and help others learn to read and write. Women who are illiterate are taught to read as well as skills such as handicrafts, sewing, bee-keeping, nursing and hairdressing.
The project has been such a success that over the next year it will be expanded into other regions of the country to continue promoting women's empowerment through education.