Supermarket of Friends

Mayada is a student at the Islamic University in the English Literature Department. Mayada opened her mini-market project twoweeks ago with the support of YouthSchool which used to help young people in financing their projects.

Burejj Camp

Burejj is a Palestinian refugee camp located in the central Gaza Strip east of the Salah al-Din road in the Deir al-Balah Governorate. The camp’s total land area is 529 dunums and in 2005, it had a population of 34,951 with 28,770 registered refugees.

The camp was established in 1949 with a population of 13,000 Palestinians from the broader Gaza area. A small percentage of the refugees were housed in the British Army barracks but the bulk of them were housed in tents. The UNRWA built concrete homes in 1950 to replace the tents.

Mayada is a girl at the age of twenty-one year who lives in the Burejj refugee camp in the group of seven family members with a blind father. Mayada studied in UNRWA schools. After the completion of high school, Mayada got a diploma of Commerce and office management department in the College of training Gaza community due to being a refugee. Mayada then received a scholarship through al-Fakhura programme to have the opportunity to study at the Islamic University. She is now a student in the third year from English Literature Faculty. The financial situation of Mayada family is similar to many of the families living in the Gaza Strip because of the blockade imposed eight years ago. The living situation is very bad, especially in the presence of three students attending the university and the need for many expenses and no source of income.

Since meeting Mr Ken Chairman YouthSchool during a visit to the UNDP in 2013, Mayada maintained contact with him and submitted a business proposal after the war in 2014. Mr Ken  decided to support and encourage Mayada through YouthSchool-Palestine and its parent company, FundingLab, a charitable organisation registered in Scotland. YouthSchool wanted to help Mayada to fulfill her dream and help her family by assisting her to open a mini-market al Asdeqaa (friends) in her neighbourhood which is without any other convenience store.

Opening the project has had a significant impact on the lives of Mayada and her family. It has become the main source of income and will be the start of other initiatives in sha’ Allah.

YouthSchool revisits Burejj Camp to see how Mayada Al Behteen’s business plan is progressing. We alo met her brother Abdullah wo has been helping Mayada with the decoration and fit-out of the supermarket. Before a short time, Mayada’s campaign on successfully raised the target of £4,000.