Cherie Blair visited Israel this week and opened a study course for women in Galilee.
The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women has donated £200,000 to support an economics and management programme for Jewish and Arab students at the Western Galilee College, in Acre.
The course is being taken by 22 students from Jewish, Muslim, Druze and Christian backgrounds.It offers computer workshops and internships in Israeli and international companies.
The former Prime Minister’s wife visited the college, which is also supported by the UJIA, on Wednesday.
She said: “This is an exciting project and one which has rich potential to transform lives, not just of the women themselves but their communities and the entire region.
“Our aim is to give women, from every background, the expertise, skills and confidence they need to forge a successful business career and hopefully set up businesses on their own.
“I know, having talked to some of the superb students on this first course, that they are determined to make the most of the opportunity they are being given.”
Mrs Blair is also recruiting Israeli businesswomen for fundraising and to work as mentors.
She first visited the college two years ago after initially being encouraged by the Portland Trust, the British foundation set up six years ago to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians through economic co-operation.
Mrs Blair also visited Ramallah where she addressed more than 100 Palestinian businesswomen and encouraged them to take a more significant role in developing their local economy.