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Mideast & North Africa grants to equip persons with disabilities, women and refugees with digital skills

A person wearing a blue shirt and glasses looks inside a large machine

We are very happy to announce grants to with a total of USD 1.3 million for three non-profit organizations in MENA to help equip entrepreneurs and job seekers with digital skills over the next two years. The grantees, Helm, IDare for Sustainable Development and SPARK will help reach people from diverse backgrounds in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and the UAE. 

Creating more inclusive job opportunities

Access to employment can be challenging for many people, including persons with disabilities. To help improve access to employment and job inclusivity, will grant USD 400,000 to Helm, an NGO that promotes the inclusion and employment of persons with disabilities (PWD). Helm will in turn run workshops in English and Arabic with sign language translation and closed captioning that focus on digital literacy and English for business communication to help enhance attendees' digital and employability skills. The workshops will be held in Egypt, Jordan and the UAE over the next 18 months, and will reach over 1,000 PWD.

Helm will also reach out to a number of public and private entities to help create and increase employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and to connect employees with skilled job-seekers.

Digital skills for refugee businesses and employability

Many young refugees and internally displaced persons around the world have lost their jobs and sources of income due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic. To help tackle this, will provide a USD 600,000 grant to SPARK, an NGO that provides young people with tools to help them succeed in regions affected by conflict.

SPARK will host digital skills training sessions for 250 young refugees and host community members in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. It will also offer coaching and mentoring sessions for over 100 entrepreneurs, as well as launch a regional startup competition to help empower them to grow their businesses. Similarly, SPARK will launch a digital networking platform to connect 1,500 entrepreneurs, university alumni and job seekers to exchange learning experiences and opportunities.

A safe hub for women to gain technical skills in the creative industry

Creating equal opportunities for women in Jordan, will be providing a USD 300,000 grant to 'Idare for Sustainable Development', which is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering positive youth development for sustainable change. The grant will be used to train 200 young women in Jordan, including those without previous work experience, on a range of competencies such as product marketing and design thinking.

'IDare for Sustainable Development' will also provide training on the safe use of machinery in the craft industry. The program will last for three years and falls under the 'Creative Hub', which is part of IDare. It is important to note that the grant is part of Impact Challenge for Women and Girls that aims to fund organizations creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls.