A Story of Hope from Gaza

Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers, we remember that, Jesus spent years working as a carpenter. Work is important to help people fulfill their potential. And everyone must receive a fair wage to provide for themselves and their families.

Encounter Ona

Ona always knew she wanted to be a “shining woman” in her community—and an example to her two young daughters. She studied hard and eventually earned her teaching degree from a university. But in Gaza, jobs are hard to find. Even though Ona had been a good student, she could not find work as a teacher.

“The financial situation was so difficult,” Ona says. “I started to feel hopeless.”

That’s why CRS matches workers with job opportunities. Through CRS, Ona applied for an internship as a teacher and was hired to teach math.

Ona knew she wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity. “I took time to ask questions and learn. I tried to better myself—and become a better teacher.”

Through her internship, Ona gained the confidence and inspiration to branch out on her own. She saved enough money to open a tutoring center. She now helps students of all ages with their math skills, as well as with other subjects. After one month in business, 41 children had visited her center.

“When people encourage you, you start to think in a more creative way,” Ona says.

As she thinks about the future, she thinks of her children. “I hope I can be an example to my daughters. I hope that my daughters can achieve their dreams.”

Share the journey: Access to dignified work at a living wage allows people to remain with their families and strengthen their communities.