Jordan, with a population of 7.6 million and GDP US$37.5 billion, has an unemployment rate of 13.2%. One substantial obstacle for finding a good job is the mismatch between requirements of the job and qualifications of applicants. Youth constitute 14% of the total population and 21.5% of the working-age population. The gender wage gap is up to 20% in the public sector where 82% of women are working. Jordan has the second highest average of educational attainment (10 school years) compared to other Arab countries. Participation of youth in civil society seems to be low as less than 9% of Jordanian youth had volunteered in an organization in 2014.
“I Learn” conducts several youth activities including Jarash “I will” Camp and other summer camps which transition youth from academic support to extracurricular activities and provide them with job opportunities to learn programming and engage in new experiences; facilitating thereby school to work transition.
Imlpementation of programme/ initiative:
I Learn is an initiative under the Four Seasons Cooperative Society in partnership with many stakeholders, mainly Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. I Learn is a youth volunteer initiative which establishes safe spaces that encourage intellectual growth and critical thinking and provides a platform for creativity and innovation. The initiative aims at:
- Enabling young people to work with children and preparing them for the labor market
- Developing the quality of the programs offered by the association and strengthening its network of partnerships
- Teaching children programming and providing them with basic computer and life skills as well as entertaining them
The I-Learn initiative is still limited in scope due to the lack of official support and funding- by government and donors- to expand it to other municipalities and cities. According to the organizers, other challenges include the unwillingness of parents to send their children to these camps due to conservatism and cultural reasons.
The outreach of the initiative included 225 children (9-13 years old) and 124 families. The initiative helped 25 youth find a job opportunity with the partners.
“I Learn” partnered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to implement the initiative in UNRWA schools as extracurricular activities in Jarash camps.
The success factors of “I Learn” are attributed to the founders’ will to achieve the desired results quantitatively and qualitatively and to verify them through field visits of community leaders.
OECD Youth in the MENA region, 2016
World Bank, 2016
International Labor Organization, 2016
Report of the national workshop on enhancing youth participation in public issues and decision making in Jordan
Date: October 10, 2017