The Nawaya Network identifies promising youth from low-income backgrounds in Lebanon and connects them with mentors, trainers, classes, funding, internship, and other opportunities. Nawaya has supported 4,700 youth so far, this year, we are supporting up to 1,500 youth in three main programs: an entrepreneurship program for Lebanese and refugee youth; a coding bootcamp for unemployed computer science graduates from low-income backgrounds; and a talent development program for low-income youth.
In a stagnant economy such as Lebanon's, with youth unemployment upward of 35%, more needs to be done to provide opportunities for low-income youth. The poverty rate is at 28.5%, and will only get worse given the economic and security situation. There is a large number of out-of-school and unemployed youth; employment opportunities are difficult to find, particularly for syrian refugees; and a number of youth are graduating without the right skills for the market.
Our organization aims to fill this gap, answering the needs of thousands of ambitious youth from low-income backgrounds throughout Lebanon, by training them in social entrepreneurship. Our goal is to increase their income-generating opportunities. Our coding programme on the other hand, aims at improving the technical and soft skills of unemployed computer scientists, it is more likely they will become employable given the large demand in the market for those talents, thus increasing incomes.
Unemployed youth will finally have alternative means to generate an income; it will develop their sense of purpose and motivate them to work hard and lead more productive lives. Girls will be empowered in their household and will raise their children along the same lines, and will learn to be more career-oriented; boys will be more driven to work in more meaningful, non-exploitative sectors, and will be less likely to get involved in crime, violence, and drugs.