The following ten solutions have been selected as some of the most promising programs focused on supporting access to quality education and dignified work for the young people in MENA region.
At the Summit, each of the ten featured solutions will deliver a TED-Talk-style presentations on the main stage - highlighting the problem, the solution, the role of technology and partnerships, the impact, and vision for the future. Summit participants also have the opportunity to engage with each solution in the interactive Exhibit Space.
On day two, it’s time to get to work. Collaborative working session with the Summit participants and solution providers will focus on sharing learning, problem solving, and ideation around scaling and replication of each solution.
Each solution featured applies the power and promise of technology and partnerships to the potential of the emerging youth workforce across the Middle East and North Africa. Read on to learn more about the vision, creativity, and passion behind each solution connecting learning to earning for youth in the MENA region.
Aoun connects poverty-affected youth in Jordan to employment opportunities in blue-collar and home maintenance industries via a tech-enabled platform. Training youth in customer services skills, communication skills, and ICT products in order to help them have a sustainable source of income. 90% of Aoun sales go directly for the youth service providers.
Aoun is committed to providing equal opportunities for women through a nondiscriminatory on-boarding process; and actively restructuring the home maintenance sector through the introduction of a matching platform that links customers with vetted service providers.
EMPACT by the American University of Beirut in Lebanon
American University of Beirut’s Digital Skills Training (DST) program is a modular curriculum which spans 12 weeks and equips low-income youth with transferable digital skills, English, soft skills, and an entrepreneurial mindset. The curriculum covers basic to advanced digital skills, English language in face-to-face and online formats, and soft skills for career readiness, freelancing, and entrepreneurship.
Following graduation, dedicated staff connect program participants to opportunities for further education and training, internships, and employment.
EMPACT by the United Nations World Food Programme in Iraq
The United Nations World Food Programme’s EMPACT program aims to equip conflict-affected, displaced and refugee youth aged 18 - 24 with marketable skills to enable them to access work locally as well as in the global digital economy. The program consists of two phases. Phase One focuses on intensive English and basic IT training. In Phase Two English courses continue alongside more advanced IT training. In both phases, students receive soft skills training where they learn how to find jobs and advertise their skills.
Throughout – and after – the program participants have access to dedicated mentors to support and guide them with both academic and non-academic challenges.
Gaza Sky Geeks
Gaza Sky Geeks founded in 2011, now it’s the first combined co-working space, freelance academy, startup accelerator, and code academy in Palestine. They are focused on serving learning and earning needs of the young people impacted by conflicts, blockade, high rate of unemployment, and humanitarian crisis.
Gaza Sky Geeks provides community members with a fiber internet connection, 12 hours of stable power, access to ongoing workshops, events, and resources.
Localized is a global platform that provides mentorship and career coaching to students and recent graduates many of whom are refugees and vulnerable youth in a host community. Localized enables colleges in emerging economies to prepare their students for the future by tapping into the expertise and experiences of professionals in their diaspora network.
The MIT ReACT Programs bring MIT’s educational opportunities to talented refugees where they live - places like Lebanon, Jordan, and other locations around the world. The program combines in-person instruction and online learning with practical experience. This approach provides continuity in education for displaced persons, personalized guidance, and paid experiential internships.
NaTakallam enables refugees to use their language skills to deliver language services to earn a living through the freelance, gig economy. Refugees participating in the program are provided with the training and mentorship needed to perform the language services such as translation, online language teaching, and cultural exchange sessions.
NaTakallam connects refugees to remote work opportunities in the language sector.
In partnership with UN/NGO agencies and conflict-affected youth, Pluralsight One has created a digital learning solution designed to support tech skills development and earning pathways for young people in the MENA region. The Solution is designed to support regionally relevant pathways to dignified employment by providing curated, high quality content from Pluralsight’s portfolio of over 6,000 courses translated into 102 languages. It enables learners to acquire in-demand skills, relevant in the locations where they live, and for the global digital economy.
ReBootKamp (RBK) is a career accelerator focused on skills training for refugees and disadvantaged youth in regions of conflict. RBK uses a powerful form of education technology called eXtreme Learning (XL) to produce market-ready software engineers in four months.
eXtreme Learning combines several traditional methodologies - fail-based learning, problem based learning, collaborative learning, immersive learning - with agile learning and mindfulness training.
Ustad Mobile provides a free, open-source mobile learning app that enables conflict-affected and marginalized youth to access and share educational content offline.
The app is designed for limited connectivity, works on almost any Android phone, and does not require a mini server or Wifi access point. With support from the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme, thousands of online, open educational resources, such as Khan Academy, are being adapted for offline use and sharing by youth in Jordan and Lebanon.