One Tuesday, July 7, 2015, Mr. Hashim Shawa, Bank of Palestine’s Chairman and General Manager, announced the Bank’s decision to employ 6% of the Bank’s total employees of people with disabilities, during a press conference held in the Bank’s General Management Head Office in Ramallah. He indicated that this segment needs continuous support from all institutions and civil society. He also confirmed that many of those people have the ability to make a change, work, be productive and effectively contribute in the society, through their engagement and involvement in work.

The announcement of this initiative took place in the presence of Mr. Rafiq Abu Sefen, President of the Palestinian General Union of People with Disability, press and media, in addition to officials from the Bank and the Union.

During the press conference, Shawa confirmed the Bank’s role and its vast efforts to support various segments of the Palestinian society, especially people with disabilities and people with special needs. He indicated that the Bank’s decision to increase the number of employees with special needs to 6% is considered an advanced percentage in comparison with local and regional institutions.

Shawa also revealed the Bank’s preparations to train a number of Bank of Palestine’s employees to enable them to interact with people with special needs, particularly with the segment who does not have the ability to properly speak. He also indicated that during the past couple of days, the Bank launched the largest humanitarian campaign to support people with hearing disabilities in Palestine, in which the studies show that there is a large and necessary need to provide around 1000 ear-seats mostly for children, with a price that exceeds half a million dollars. The Bank announced its provision of 100 thousand dollars for the campaign, in addition to covering all expenses related to the campaign’s promotion.

Shawa expressed his contentment that the Bank became a leading Palestinian pioneer institution that declares its commitment to support people with disabilities in Palestine including within its staff.

Mr. Rafiq Abu Sefen praised the Bank’s decision to employ 6% of its employees of people with disabilities; he indicated that this is not strange for Bank of Palestine, as the Bank provides its support to all segments of the Palestinian society in general and to people with special needs in particular.

Abu Sefen added that the Palestinian law, which was approved by the late President Yasser Arafat, indicated employing 5% of people with disabilities in Palestinian institutions and the private sector; nevertheless, the Bank’s decision to increase the percentage to 6% is a decision to be appreciated and respected and demonstrates the Bank’s nobility and its serious interest to support this segment. He added that this step will contribute to change the stereotypical image about these people and provides them with an opportunity to prove themselves and rapidly engage in the business world.

Abu Sefen also emphasized that the misfortunes and the suffering of the Arab region is due to the arrogance of the powerful over the weak, however, if there is no safety for the weak, there will be no stability for the powerful. Abu Sefen concluded his speech by thanking and praising Bank of Palestine’s initiative, expressing his hope for the next period to whiteness further collaboration between the Palestinian General Union of People with Disability and Bank of Palestine.