Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has expanded its geographical outreach with the launch of its first educational program in broader Central Asia. The AED 5,510,250 (USD 1.5 million) program, being implemented in partnership with Mercy Corps, is set to tackle widespread youth unemployment in the Republic of Tajikistan over a period of three years. The program focuses on improving access to economic opportunities for 7,800 vulnerable young people in selected districts across the Khatlon Province and Districts of Republican Subordination, through Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET).
The program titled “Making Youth Future Ready: Introducing New Vocational Educational Skills Training (INVEST) in Tajikistan”, is set to provide life and work readiness skills, vocational training as well as business development support. Moreover, it will engage the private sector, national government and non-government stakeholders in order to encourage local sustainable practices in the long term. 6,300 children, 1,500 young men and women, as well as 231 teachers and trainers are expected to directly benefit from this program, while 45,000 community members are also set to benefit indirectly from it.
Highlighting the importance of the program, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “We are excited to expand our presence in Central Asia with this program in Tajikistan through a program that will help create an environment that is conducive to economic development. Investing in Technical and Vocational Education Training is an essential component of sustainable development. Its value is clearly evident, as it is particularly adapted for out of school youth and adults and it is a flexible mechanism to provide the skills and knowledge required by employers. Through this program, we are directly responding to priorities identified by the government of Tajikistan, to equip young people with relevant skills and knowledge to effectively participate in the social and economic progress of their nation.”
Elena Buryan, Mercy Corps Country Director, Tajikistan said: “in Tajikistan, young people between 14 and 30-year-old make up over a third of the population, with 40,000 young Tajiks looking for jobs every year. Mercy Corps is working with thousands of young people in vulnerable communities to provide them with skills and employability training to prepare them for work. Together with the support of Dubai Cares, our efforts will help improve the prospects of young people who are essential to the future prosperity of their country."
The Republic of Tajikistan is a country of 9.3 million people in Central Asia that gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991 and plunged into civil war from 1992 to 1997. The World Bank estimates up to 57% of the working age population is not engaged in the workforce and that only 5.6% of adults in Tajikistan work in the formal private sector. An estimated 1.8 million people are neither employed nor in school, of which 40% are young people between 15 and 24 years old.