Funded by USAID, this community based five-year initiative seeks to improve the life and employment prospects of highly vulnerable youth through a unique alliance with the International Youth Foundation, the Ministry of Social Development, JRF, and two other national organizations and CBOs at the local level. YWJ aims to improve and expand community based social services, with an overarching focus on promoting the employability and civic engagement of Jordan’s youth. The Initiative also aims to improve the employability and livelihoods of some of the most marginalized and underserved youth in the country between ages 15 and 24.
Under this initiative, JRF was assigned four neighborhoods, namely; Ma’soum and Al Hussein in Zarqa, and Waqqas and Mallaha in the Jordan Valley.
Program Components include the following:
- Provision of Life, Employability and Entrepreneurship Skills (skills training activities, employer engagement, job placement and Internships, etc.).
- Provision of Youth Friendly Services.
- Provision of youth civic engagement activities to support small scale community infrastructure and environmental improvements.
YWJ was launched under the Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah in February, 2010.
Initial interventions of the Program included the implementation of quick wins in order to gage participation willingness by local communities. Moreover, core trainings sessions were conducted for 27 interested CBOs in target areas, which were followed by a request for proposals.
In 2010, JRF partnered with three CBOs from Zarqa, namely; Khawla Bint Al Azwar, Shoa’a and Abna’ Al Watan, and three CBOs from the Jordan Valley, namely; That Al Netakein, Al Balawneh and Musa Al Saket. Each of these CBOs was provided with a sub-grant to implement project activities. In 2011, two additional CBOs - “Qudurat” from Zarqa and “Waqqas” were selected to also be a part of the Initiative.
JRF designed a capacity building plan, and provided technical assistance to the selected CBOs through training sessions on project management, networking, proposal writing and raising awareness on psychosocial topics related to youth. The total number of participants who took part in these sessions was 334, of whom 175 are female.
Also with regards to capacity building, JRF contracted specialized firms to provide training on IT and English skills for youth in the target areas. Shabakat Al-Ordon and the British Council provided IT skills and English language training respectively, in addition to training on networking and dealing with challenges in order to conduct successful youth civic engagement activities.
At the conclusion of the Program, JRF and local partners achieved the following:
- Employment: 413 youth were employed, of whom 172 are female.
- Volunteerism (civic engagement and support of youth friendly services): 1332 youth, of whom 510 are female, participated in 47 voluntary activities, such as cleaning and maintenance of houses owned by the less advantaged, painting murals, and training the disabled on designing handicrafts.
- Capacity Building and Awareness Raising: 1290 youth, of whom 601 are female, attended 202 training sessions which focused on basic life skills, entrepreneurship, IT, and English and vocational training.
- Returning to the Educational System: 168 youth, 67 of whom are female, returned to the educational system.