For more than 20 years, the Western Union Foundation has been empowering disadvantaged youth and migrants with the skills, resources, and education needed to succeed. One of the Foundation’s nonprofit partners driving this mission forward is Education for Employment (EFE), which focuses on empowering youth in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) regions with demand-driven skills that lead to employment, dignity, and hope.
The MENA region is one of the hardest places in the world for young people to get a job. EFE has designed programs that focus on creating more skill building and job opportunities for young people – especially women – in this region. To date, they have connected more than 148,000 youth to the world of work. Of their job-track graduates, 73% were placed in jobs within 6 months of graduation, and 59% of EFE’s graduates are women.
Employing the Future
To nurture the positive potential of youth in MENA, EFE has pioneered training programs that are uniquely shaped by employer demands and link youth to tangible job opportunities. EFE’s Work Place Success program is one great example of their offerings, and one that helped shape many young people’s futures – including Walaa’s.
After graduating from university, Walaa began working as a nurse at a local hospital in Palestine. She quickly realized that communicating with patients is an important skill, and one that her education hadn’t prepared her for. “When I first studied nursing, I did learn a lot of technical skills that were needed. But what I did not learn is how to deal with people,” Walaa shared. “Being a nurse, it’s critical to know how to be patient and confident before anything else.”
Walaa was determined to work on her communication skills to gain confidence and build her career. She applied for EFE’s program and was thrilled to be accepted. In fact, she attended every class offered to her. Since graduating from EFE’s training program, Walaa has much more self-confidence and gained the courage to apply and interview for new positions. “I took into consideration all the soft skills I learned with EFE. I dressed up well, I prepared to answer questions… and most importantly, I was proud of the CV (resume) that was in their hands,” Walaa shared. We’re excited to share that Walaa was offered a nursing position at Rafidia Public Hospital immediately following her interview.
The Western Union Foundation is proud to support aspiring young adults as they seek educational and professional growth opportunities with partners like Education for Employment.