Supporting youth in the Middle East

Giving By Emily Larson February 19, 2021

The Middle East and North Africa region continue to be the hardest place in the world for young adults to get a job. One of the main reasons for this is the dramatic misalignment between the skills taught in the local educational institutions and the needs of the labor market. Despite the region’s rapidly growing youth population, employers consider access to talent a top business challenge. That is why the Western Union Foundation is partnering with Education for Employment (EFE) to address this particular challenge. Together, we believe providing youth with access to the tools, resources, and support will give them a chance at better jobs and better futures. With our support, EFE has pioneered training programs that are shaped by employer demands and link youth to tangible jobs and economic opportunities, directly addressing the challenge of labor market needs.

Meet Alqam. He finished his Diploma in Architecture but felt he was still lacking certain skills needed to gain meaningful employment in Palestine. Then he faced additional challenges. He lost his leg in an accident in 2014. However, this did not stop him and regardless of the pain both physically and mentally, he decided not to give up and to continue his dream.

Alqam found EFE and realized they provided additional training that he could greatly benefit from. He registered in EFE’s Life Readiness Training and found it taught him the skills that he did not learn in school. “As a freelancer, I didn’t know how to get the best use out of my time,” Alqam says, but after this training, he learned how to manage his time, work in a team, and communicate with his clients better. “I love learning and enjoy learning new skills that can benefit me at work. Also, I encourage all youth once graduating to take advantage of EFE training due to the great skills they teach.”

Alqam is just one example of the 119,599 youth EFE has supported. The Western Union Foundation is proud to partner with EFE and organizations like them who are directly addressing the challenges, resulting in so many young people gaining the tools needed that they may not otherwise have access to.

The Western Union Foundation believes opportunities like these EFE provides are essential to a successful global economy. We will continue to deliver against our mission of providing Opportunity Beyond Borders where we collaborate with nonprofits around the globe to support young people in gaining better employment opportunities in their communities.  Learn more about the work of the Foundation here, and follow us on Twitter for the latest news.