UAE: 25,000 youth over 20 countries to be empowered by organisation by 2025

Philanthropic foundation has granted 188 scholarships so far

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Nandini Sircar

Published: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 4:39 PM

Last updated: Fri 9 Sep 2022, 12:24 AM

The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education is aiming to empower 25,000 Emirati and Arab youth, making them "life-ready" by 2025 through education for sustainable elevated livelihoods.

This data was revealed during an event that was held to publish the Foundation's Annual Report (Impact Report) highlighting the considerable success and growth it achieved. Its philanthropic education initiatives reached 21 countries while already having impacted the lives of 18,000 beneficiaries, 12 per cent of whom are Emiratis, and 88 per cent are Arab youth from across the region.

Additionally, 13 new multi-sector partnerships were created, and 188 scholarship recipients graduated. Ambitions for 2025 also include supporting 50,000 Emirati and Arab youth to become ready for higher education, entrepreneurship, professional careers, and future-proof work.

The newly released report showed the impact of four new programs and NOMU, a multi-sector youth development initiative that provides Emirati youth with high-quality training opportunities.

Shedding light on the innovative education solutions and authentic partnerships while collaborating with key stakeholders and institutions, Dr Sonia Ben Jaafar, CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education said, "we're proud of the Foundation's success to date, expanding our reach, and supporting thousands more students across dozens of countries. The Foundation is here to serve the community and last year's Annual Report showed the deeper, broader, and more lasting positive impact the Foundation is having, helping improve the education and talent ecosystems to increase collaborations and authentic partnerships. It is vital that Emirati and Arab youth receive high-quality education opportunities that lead to elevated livelihoods, and enable them to compete, succeed and achieve their goals as we work towards a sustainable future."

Successful collaborations last year included working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) to organise the Arab region's first MIT Innovation Leadership Bootcamp with 120 participants, 76 per cent of whom were Emiratis.

"We aim to empower 25,000 young people by 2025 and this alone is important because the initiative offers unique learning pathways for people who learn differently, who want to have a different pathway than 'just let me get a four-year university degree and get a job'. Some actually wish to upskill and engage with a new way of work. It also looks at UAE priority sectors and the nation's sustainability strategy and put that at the forefront," Jaafar added.

She adds, "Our first programme under this initiative is called Tech up. It's a pathway that can upscale or use for a better world of work. We do training and have got hiring partners onboard to connect them to the corporate sector, the private sector and to the training programmes."

The report also includes the Al Ghurair Young Thinkers' Program (YTP) that offers youth a digital platform which provides them with transferable skills.

Additionally, the Foundation implemented a pilot program in collaboration with Virtual Internships to offer virtual work placements locally and internationally through mentor coaching.

New strategic partnerships were also agreed, such as the American University of Beirut launching the Abdulla Al Ghurair Hub for Digital Teaching and Learning last year, to strengthen the education systems that break down barriers to Higher Education. Moreover, the Foundation expanded its work through the University Consortium for Quality Online Learning (UCQOL).


Jaafar says, "We are re-collaborating with the UAE Ministry of Education and nine leading universities in the country to facilitate the development of high-quality online programs for Emirati and Arab students. This has been an amazing journey of high-quality online programmes for Emirati and Arab students and students all over the region. We have managed to do this because our approach to engagement is one of service. We want to have a broader reach. We want to have long-term impact. We want to do more to stabilise the systems in the region. We want to do more so that education is not a privilege but a right and it holds true to our core, and everything that we do. So, we're mobilising all stakeholders to advocate for innovative and flexible learning."

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