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IYAF seeks to empower youth as agents of change

By Batool Ghaith - Apr 11,2021 - Last updated at Apr 17,2021

Participants of an IYAF programme poses for a group photo (Photo courtesy of IYAF)

AMMAN — The International Youth Ambassadors Foundation’s (IYAF) aim is to provide support, mentorship and opportunities for the youth to work on their ideas and turn them into successful projects, according to its co-founder Trad Al Masri.

IYAF is a non-profit youth-led organisation serving as a national and international platform to empower the youth with the skills and capacities to become agents of change in their communities and careers, according to Masri. 

Since 2016, the IYAF has supported the mission and the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) introduced by the United Nations in 2015 and meant to enhance living standards across societies by 2030, Masri said.

“We recognise the important role of the youth as productive individuals, and also collectively as influencers in their communities, therefore we provide them with opportunities to help them develop their interests, while sharing and advancing their skills and experiences,” Masri told The Jordan Times.  

 Masri mentioned that Jordan has always been on the frontlines to adopt and commit to achieving sustainability in different fields and sectors. However, the COVID pandemic has limited these efforts significantly.

Youth involvement and activities aimed to aid the achievement of the SDGs have been severely impacted due to the pandemic, especially that Jordan is considered a young country with 63 per cent of the population under the age of 30, he said

“Although, a lot of mitigation strategies have been implemented and digital communication has brought the world closer together, we still faced many challenges implementing new projects with constantly changing restrictions, which resulted in increased planning efforts as we have to factor in multiple risk scenarios,” Masri noted.

Masri highlighted the decrease in access to funding and financial support as priorities have shifted, which made it harder to meet desired goals.

“We have realised that a digital world could not adequately replace physical cooperation and human interactivity. Especially, with regard to innovation and cultural exchange programmes,” Masri said. 

“IYAF believes that one of the main components for a successful implementation of sustainable development culture is the adoption of a common reference for ideas, work and output, and this is where the SDGs come through,” Masri said. 

The foundation recently implemented a youth leadership programme with UNDP, and will be launching IYAF Hub for Entrepreneurship and Innovation soon, Masri noted.

“It is imperative to bet on youth and work on innovating entrepreneurial solutions,” he said.

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