Equipping Young Peacemakers initiative spotlight: International Youth Ambassadors Foundation
written by EYP participant Sadeer Issa
As we have discussed throughout the Equipping Young Peacemakers series, young men and women in the MENA region face many challenges. When it comes to employment, minimal opportunities for career progression, community acknowledgment, and market awareness hinder our ability to meaningfully engage in growth and economic development.
To give a specific example: By the end of 2020, Jordan’s Department of Statistics reported that the unemployment rate had increased to 24.7%. Among Jordan’s youth, that number was at an unprecedented 50%. This is all the more distressing when you consider that 63% of Jordan’s population is under the age of 30. Such gaps between demand driven-markets and existing supply have to be addressed and solved across the region in order to foster young people’s role in the development of their communities and achieve the promise of sustainable development.
To respond to this issue, the International Youth Ambassadors Foundation was formed in 2016. IYAF is a youth-led non-profit providing support, mentorship, and opportunities for the youth to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. IYAF enables young people to turn their ideas into solid products. The organization emphasizes youth creating opportunities for other youth in underdeveloped or underprivileged areas. Through our work, we enhance young people’s role in leading innovative programs. IYAF further serves as a national and international network for technical skill development and professional capacity building. Our vision is to support youth’s value as productive individuals, and their ability to influence positive change among themselves and their communities.
Through the years, IYAF has built on the Model United Nations structure of international diplomacy simulation to support youth inclusion, community development, entrepreneurship and innovation, and specialized training. We hope to continuously grow, establishing more public-private partnerships, expand our local and international operations, and increase our capacity to achieve a more prosperous future for youth around the world.
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