Regional youth and community development organization, Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya, has concluded the Youth Economic Empowerment Program - funded by Citi Foundation - which took place in Jordan and Lebanon. The program falls under Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, which seeks to boost the employability of youth worldwide, while equipping them with entrepreneurial mindsets and skills to help them secure jobs, so they may ultimately contribute to their national economies.
The grant presented follows a two-year partnership between Citi Foundation and Ruwwad that began in 2014. It allowed the organization to not only build on the achievements of its previous initiatives, but also to improve the lives of disenfranchised communities by providing young people with economic opportunities that empower their growth and development. The program aimed at incorporating youth from marginalized areas into various learning programs and entrepreneurial endeavors via three tracks: Employment Support, Micro-Business Support and Technology Support.
In Jordan - particularly in East Amman - Ruwwad implemented the Employment Support Track to highlight the issue of employability. In today’s labor market, ‘Skills for Success’ such as English language proficiency, ICT competency, life and soft skills, job search and entrepreneurship are considered vital to securing decent jobs or establishing viable businesses.
To this end, Ruwwad offered 56 unemployed graduates a comprehensive ‘Skills for Success - Employability Skills’ training program, which comprised 28 hours of English for the Workplace, Interpersonal Skills and Business Ethics, to help them compete within the labor market.
After the training program’s conclusion, Ruwwad linked the participants with its employer partners. 14 individuals were eventually placed in eight companies, including Umniah, Globitel, SiTech and Converged Technology. Moreover, 11 graduates completed their six-month internship programs, of whom eight are currently full-time and three are part-time employees.
Ayat Abu Jhash, a participant who was unemployed for two years, commented that the program allowed her to gain enough technical experience to obtain a full-time job. Her fellow participant, Firas Abu Fares, also said, “The program has greatly benefitted me as I have been struggling for a year to access different employment and internship opportunities, but couldn’t, due to lack of experience. Following the internship, I got the experience I needed to find a full-time job in a field I am passionate about. I am also more confident to look into different options as they arise.”
CEO of Citi Jordan, Nour Jarrar, said, “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Ruwwad and the tangible positive impact it has had on so many people across the Kingdom. The early phases of our partnership yielded valuable lessons, which Ruwwad has leveraged to design a youth empowerment program that delivers the employability skills and entrepreneurship training needed to gain permanent employment. We are pleased with the results achieved so far, and thank Ruwwad for its hard work and dedication in implementing this program, which falls under Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative and aligns with our mission.”
In turn, Operations Manager at Ruwwad, Rawan Khawaldeh - who led the execution of the Employment Support Track in Jordan - stated, “This pilot project allowed us to examine the potential of such programs and witness firsthand their impact on participants, almost half of whom now have full-time jobs from which they can kickstart careers in the fields they are passionate about. We would like to extend our gratitude to Citi Foundation, whose partnership has been instrumental to directly improving the economic opportunities for youth in underserved communities.”
© Press Release 2020