Silatech believes in empowering youth through employment, says HH Sheikha Moza
Qatar’s focus on youth empowerment has touched the lives of youth across the region, particularly in the MENA region where over 1 million young people have been connected with employment opportunities as part of Silatech’s efforts.
Silatech, which means “your connection,” has enabled the youth in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, and Palestine to make a difference in their lives through decent work, reported The Peninsula.
Last week, Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Founder and Chairperson of Silatech, shared the organization’s ambitious new target to provide five million young men and women with employment opportunities by 2022.
HH Sheikha Moza emphasized that the true benefits of education can only be reaped with meaningful work and urged global partners to heighten efforts in connecting the youth with productive jobs that will bring about a real change in their societies.
It is estimated that at least five million youngsters will enter the job market each year for the next five years in the Middle East. This is a region already challenged by lack of jobs for the youth, reported the Gulf Times.
Al Jazeera's Adrian Finighan spoke with Sheikha Moza about her new efforts in job creation. HH Sheika Moza shared her belief in education to bring about meaningful change for the youth.
"I believe in the power of education in transforming lives and societies. Education is the basic building block for human development; it is the base where young people can learn their skills, their knowledge, the art of citizenry, and also they will construct their first world view,” she said.
However, education must be followed by proper work, Her Highness underscored. "We failed to provide our young people with the right environment - economic, social and cultural environment - for their prosperity and their hope.
"We have a very young population. One-third of the population is between 15 and 29 years old. This is a very productive age. This is the generation that can drive the engine of our economic growth and lead our positive social changes. So I believe it's imperative to invest in them and give them the opportunity by which they can be active in their societies and practice the art of citizenry that we taught them during their schooling."
In response to a question about Silatech's endeavors in this regard, Sheikha Moza said the organization is working to fill certain gaps.
"The problem is that some of these young people lack skills that really can allow them to fit in an ever-changing market, so Silatech is training these young people to be employed.
"So we help them with their employability, also train them to be entrepreneurs. We provide them with loan guarantees and try to instill in them their self-confidence to see themselves as productive citizens.”
She added that Silatech also aids governments to modify their mindsets and as a result their policies to create an ecosystem, through which the youth can excel or practice this good citizenry.
Sheikha Moza further highlighted, "We are in a way activating business in the whole community. And also we work in partnerships. We have international partners, regional partners and also local partners. Local partners for us are very essential because they're the ones who can lead us towards the right programmes.”
"Of course, the regional and international partners help us to transfer certain expertise and knowledge to these local people that we're helping and supporting," she added.
Silatech acts as a bridge, connecting disaffected youths with apprenticeships, microfinancing initiatives, and partners who can teach them how to run a business. The aim is to empower them enough so they become financially independent to achieve their individual goals and make an impact within their communities.
What are your thoughts on this news? Share with us in the comments below!
Make sure to check out our social media to keep track of the latest content.
Instagram - @qatarliving
Twitter - @qatarliving
Facebook - Qatar Living