The situation for Syrian refugee adolescents is desperate. According to our charity partner Unicef an estimated 84 per cent are not engaged at all in their community and are at a risk of being exploited or falling into negative ways of coping with their daily reality. These young people have already lost a huge part of their education, opportunities are limited and there are many obstacles in their way.
But at the foundation we believe all children have a right to a bright future and no more deserving than children who have innocently been caught up in war. That is why we are so delighted that you have helped us support the One x Unicef innovation project for the last two years. This is the first of its kind program providing Syrian young people living in the refugee camps in Jordan with the innovative social entrepreneurship skills they need to make a lasting sustainable impact within their current community and on their future return
“I face many challenges on daily basis, including going to school, since walking sometimes becomes painful. Bicycles are the main form of transportation in the camp. But people with prosthetics, like myself, can’t ride regular bikes easily because it’s more difficult to have as much control over it. I enrolled in this program to find a solution for girls and boys like me. This idea of a bike, it makes me feel like I can be like everybody else. I don’t want people to see me as someone who can’t – the opposite,Eman Al Sheyyaba
disability is in society’s mind.”
You’ll be delighted to hear that things on the ground have been going really well. 249 young people took part in the first phase, a 12-week human centred design training programme where they were inspired to consider entrepreneurship as an alternative to a traditional career beyond the camps. The curriculum covered a range of topics including how to have the mindset of an innovator, how to search for and understand problems in their community, how to determine customers and stakeholders, build prototypes and test ideas, develop a business model and pitch ideas. At the end of 12 weeks a total of 84 teams were formed who pitched their ideas. Following this 20 selected teams went onto the Changemakers Lab which provides unique ‘post-programme opportunities’ to youth to build their own businesses, enter employment, or become community leaders. Youth entrepreneurship is an important way to address high unemployment.
Thank you for helping to open up the world to these young people. We look forward to sharing more of their success as the programme progresses.