Equipping vulnerable youth for the workplace: Global initiative YouthCan! launches in MENA

In partnership with MBC Al Amal, YouthCan! a global youth initiative by SOS Children’s Villages International, will launch regionally from Amman, Jordan

Amman, Jordan (October 24, 2017): International social development organisation, SOS Children’s Villages, is introducing its global YouthCan! initiative to the MENA region. Launching today in Amman, in partnership with MBC Al Amal, the programme provides essential support for young people without parental care, to equip them with critical skills needed for the workplace.

The global YouthCan! initiative aims to contribute to reducing the 1 out of 4 youth who are unemployed across the world - which has never been more pressing in the MENA region with 30% of youth without employment. The YouthCan! initiative will introduce a series of workshops and sessions to support young people facing social and economic exclusion and empower them to excel independently.
 
The regional launch of YouthCan! will provide a platform for youth empowerment through impactful corporate engagement. Within the MENA region, the initiative will start in Amman and roll out to other countries in the next couple of years – including Morocco.

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Welcome Remarks by the Master of Ceremonies , Mrs Jumana Abu-Hannoud

International Director for the MENA Region, Alia Al Dalli announced the launch of the regional initiative out of Jordan, where the planned programmes for the first year will take place in partnership with MBC Al Amal, paving the way for future regional partnerships supporting youth. Speaking at the launch event, Mrs Al Dalli expressed: “Employment is the backbone of our economy and society, but first we must focus on equipping our youth with the essential skills to grow. Most young people who have no parental care and are excluded socially and economically, have less opportunities to find work or set up their own business. With the help of our partners, such as MBC Al Amal, SOS Children’s Villages International hopes to reach and positively impact 10,000 of these young people by 2020 through the YouthCan! programmes.”

The YouthCan! programme, run by SOS Children’s Villages International, aims to actively contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, to reduce youth unemployment through partnerships with the private sector (SDG 17, Partnerships for Development). The organisation works with corporate partners to create opportunities for the next generation by running skills-based workshops, providing mentorship and career opportunities.

Mariam Farag, Head of CSR at MBC Group, commented “MBC Al Amal is partnering with SOS Children’s Villages (Global and Regional), to take YouthCan! from a global concept to a regional movement. With high unemployment rates and the socio-economic challenges, the region is facing, we have no choice but to focus on youth development and work placement solutions. It is our responsibility as a private sector and as media, to bridge the gap between all sectors and to support them on maximizing their efforts. We all have an important role to play, and without partnership and strategic direction, we will not be able to reach and impact the youth of today. The youth is not the future; the youth is now.”

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Keynote Address from Her Excellency Mrs Hala Lattouf, Minister of Social Development, Government of Jordan
 
National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Jordan, Muna Hamdan commented: “SOS Children’s Villages International take a holistic approach to childcare, ensuring that children are supported through their families, communities and through education. The launch of YouthCan! in the MENA region is a positive step for vulnerable young people that helps them to transition into adulthood and independence and to ultimately contribute to society. Working in partnership with leading corporate supporters such as MBC Al Amal allows us to strengthen our regional platform and to facilitate access to employment and training opportunities for youth, and more importantly to enhance capacity and engagement through our partners’ leadership and work ethic.”

At the launch, regional partner MBC Al Amal will run a workshop on digital media for the youth of SOS Jordan, and will continue to provide training and engagement opportunities for them throughout the coming year.