Published: 2022-10-01 15:01
Last Updated: 2022-12-05 00:11
A ceremony celebrating the fruitful partnership between SPARK and the IsDB Group in Jordan will be held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank Group
Amman, Saturday, 1 October 2022 - Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), SPARK held a ceremony to celebrate the conclusion of the jointly financed and implemented Tadamon and Higher Education Programmes in Jordan. The programs contributed to mitigating the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth in Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq by supporting vulnerable youth, including refugees and women, with higher education scholarships, promoting entrepreneurship, matching young people to jobs, and supporting SMEs.
The ceremony took place on 1 October 2022 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Amman, Jordan, and featured over 250 participants, including scholarship recipients, MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and partners of the program. His Excellency Dr. Al Jasser delivered an inspirational speech to the audience, indicating, “the work you are doing today demonstrates that youth can be entrepreneurs, academics, and thought leaders if adequately supported.”
His Excellency Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Founder of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, also delivered a keynote speech in which he highlighted the efforts of SPARK and IsDB in establishing instrumental pathways toward sustainable employment and changing the lives of youth.
For his part, SPARK’s founder and CEO, Mr. Yannick Du Pont, showcased SPARK’s role as an international development organization that has supported vulnerable Jordanian and refugee youth since 2016 by providing them with the relevant skills needed to unlock their access to the labor market amid growing unemployment. SPARK supports young people with scholarships and helps them to find and retain sustainable employment by supporting entrepreneurs to establish new businesses. It also allows existing businesses to scale and grow. All in the name of furthering job creation.
During the ceremony, H.E. Dr. Al Jasser and H.E. Mr. Al Ghurair also officially announced the launch of the new Skills Training Education Programme (STEP) in Jordan and Lebanon in partnership with SPARK that will support new and existing businesses to grow, create jobs and increase access to labor markets for refugees and vulnerable youth and women. The program will target refugee youth (50%) and host community youth (50%) aged 15 to 24 with a 50% women participation. The STEP program with SPARK provides Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), curriculum support, and business skills training. In addition, it facilitates internships and job placements for young people to gain valuable work experience. STEP is generously funded by the Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund through the Global Muslim Philanthropist Fund for Children (GMPFC), a joint IsDB-UNICEF initiative.
About Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)
The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral development bank working to improve the lives of those we serve by promoting social and economic development in Member countries and Muslim communities worldwide, delivering impact at scale. The IsDB provides the infrastructure to enable people to lead better lives and achieve their full potential.
About Islamic Development Fund for Development (ISFD)
The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) is dedicated to reducing poverty in its member countries by promoting pro-poor growth, emphasizing human development, especially improvements in health care and education, and providing financial support to enhance the productive capacity and sustainable means of income for the poor, including financing employment opportunities, providing market outlets, especially for the rural poor and improving basic rural and pre-urban infrastructure.
SPARK is an international non-governmental development organization active throughout the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe. For over 28 years, SPARK has been creating pathways for young people to rebuild their futures. SPARK provides opportunities for youth, particularly women and refugees, to study, work and grow their own businesses in fragile communities by providing higher (vocational) education scholarships, entrepreneurship development and SME support. All SPARK’s programs are founded in close collaboration with local partner organizations.
The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund
The Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Funded was established by philanthropist and businessman H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair on World Refugee Day (20 June) 2018 from H.E.’s personal fund. It has successfully supported 48,000+ refugee youth in Jordan, Lebanon and conflict-affected children residing in the United Arab Emirates through partnerships with 20 organizations. The fund supports high-impact education programs at the secondary, vocational, and tertiary levels of education for refugee youth in Jordan and Lebanon. In addition, it strengthens access to education for conflict-affected youth residing in the UAE. The fund is administered by the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education.