The Status of Youth in the Middle East and Palestine
Ooredoo- an international communications company that provides customized communication services to users around the world, with particular focus on the Middle East- as recently released findings from a new study detailing the use of technology amongst youth in the Middle East. A summery of the finds, particularly as it pertains to youth in Nablus (and Palestine at large) can be found below:
- Delivering an optimistic future: The youth in Palestine particular suffer from a lack of skills which limits their access to job opportunities. The survey found that 57% of youth agree that they are not working to their full potential or doing the work they would like to do. However, many are attempting to get career-related experience from other sources, so they work towards finding employment in their fields. The survey found that 8/10 of youths in MENA are optimistic about their future in the coming 12 months. TYO offers that opportunity for the youth to develop their skills through empowering them in the classrooms through the Youth Service Learning Program (YSL). Graduate and undergraduates students commit to a three month volunteering program where they serve as assistants for the teachers in TYO's Core Child Program. In this role the volunteers have the chance to develop their leadership, communication and time management skills.
- The impact of infrastructure: Palestinian youth spend many hours a day on the internet. This can become problematic when the youth spend more time on internet than on developing their skills out of the academic life. TYO helps youth develop their skills by spending at least three hours at TYO, taking intensive trainings about the importance of voluntary work, the needs of the labor market, and developing the skills needed skills to succeed in the labor market like time management, initiative and leadership skills.
- Addressing the gender balance: the survey found that 77% of the youths across MENA believe women should be given the same business opportunities as men and 72% of men agree with this. The awareness has been increasing in Palestine regarding the importance of giving equal job opportunities to women. It is TYO's role to create a chance for females to build their skills in a challenging situation where norms play a big role in limiting the women's choices. TYO works with 38 female graduate and undergraduate students in the Youth Service Learning (YSL) program to be more empowered towards being more aware of the importance of being independent as woman. Additionally, female volunteers work in teams of both women and men, helping to create a sense of equity and improved communication between the genders. This makes them feel more important in the community and more empowered.
In spite of the optimism of the youth for a better future and the change in people's minds to be more open to the equal job opportunities for males and females in the community, there is still a challenge for the youth to work hard to develop their skills. TYO offers this opportunity for the youth to develop their professional skills in order to be more prepared for the labor market requirements.
-Ruba, Volunteer Coordinator
This program - as part of Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) - is sponsored in part by the Abdul Hamid Shoman Foundation.