"Tiling Gloves"-Tulkarem Vocational Training Academy Develops Shock Absorbing Gloves For Tile Worker
Tile workers in the State of Palestine often use a rubber mallet to fix tiles in their place
Tulkarem, State of Palestine, 31 March 2020, Tile workers in the State of Palestine often use a rubber mallet to fix tiles in their place. However, the habit of ‘slapping’ the tile is performed by many tile workers. Slapping the tiles (or hitting it with the palm of the hand) can lead to severe palm pain or hand injuries. Workers nonetheless continue using their bare hands to fix tiles into the floor by slapping them, primarily because this was the method they were taught by other tile workers, particularly the older ones.
"Helping people and at the same time getting money, what could be better? It’s a great feeling." Mohammad, 16
As part of UNICEF's support to promoting life skills and to equip adolescents for their transition to work, the Vocational Training Academy of Tulkarem is hosting entrepreneurship programmes. Thirty-two students from the flooring department and a volunteer superviser from INJAZ Palestine have developed an entrepreneurial project to tackle this issue through innovation.
The students came up with a design and a list of materials needed to create a glove that would protect workers without affecting their movement and provide them with comfort. Materials include thick cotton cloth to be used for the main body of the glove, concentrated sponge cloth that will be sewed inside the glove to make it more comfortable to wear and, mostly importantly, sorbothane to absorb the shock when slapping the tiles. These materials also help to reduce the chance of a tile cracking.
This project shows how the Entrepreneurship Programme by UNICEF in the State of Palestine is a successful approach in supporting adolescents to be entrepreneurs. In collaboration with Injaz, UNICEF's local implementing partner, the Entrepreneurship Programme is reaching vocational centers across the State of Palestine. This gives opportunities to students to work on a professional project and equip them with the skills needed. In the word of one of the students: "Helping people and at the same time getting money, what could be better? It’s a great feeling", Mohammad, 16.