“We need to inspire and prepare young Arabs to succeed in a global economy. INJAZ works to instill Arab youth with a sense of self-motivation, confidence, empowerment, and a mindset that anything is possible, while fostering among business leaders a passionate spirit of mentoring and investing their resources to help youth make the leap from school to the workplace.”
Sub-Issues: Secondary Education; Youth Job Skills Youth unemployment in the Arab region is the highest in the world. There are not enough jobs for new graduates, and school systems that emphasize rote learning over practical skills do not prepare them well.
The Skoll Awardee: When Soraya Salti took over INJAZ in 2001, it was struggling to deliver an educational program in Jordan. She turned it around, then raised her sights. INJAZ today is a leading educational program in the Arab region, teaching entrepreneurship, work and life skills as part of the regular school curriculum. With INJAZ, students learn by doing, actually conceptualizing business ideas, writing business plans, teaming up with other students and even starting businesses. INJAZ has accomplished what no other group in the Arab world has done: recruited more than 2,000 Arab business people annually to go into classrooms and volunteer their time. Soraya’s innovation was to bring in the Junior Achievement model, adapted to reflect the region and culture, and emphasizing confidence-building and leadership alongside business and entrepreneurial skills. INJAZ links students to the job market through job fairs, internships and other activities. INJAZ is Junior Achievement Worldwide’s Middle East-North Africa regional office, and Soraya is senior vice president for the region. At the time of the Award, INJAZ had reached more than 300,000 youth, engaged more than 10,000 volunteers, and expanded the program to 12 countries, helping more than 700 students find jobs in a single year.
Impact since joining the portfolio in 2009:
- Cumulative total of youth reached has surpassed 2 million.
- Working in 716 schools in the region.
- In Jordan, INJAZ has documented that 87 percent of its students were successfully employed within one year of graduation, compared to 30 percent national rate.
- 161,635 students mentored by 3,098 corporate volunteers.
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