Taqaddam, meaning ‘move forward’ in Arabic, is an innovative, interactive student-facing programme that develops enduring life skills amongst 15-16 year olds across eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Taqaddam was developed in partnership with the HSBC Education Network, British Council in MENA, and UK delivery partner Spark+Mettle, who in 2016 joined with the Goodall Foundation.
Now in its second year, the programme has already started to build on success gained in year one and is set to make an even bigger impact.
A focus for many programmes is often giving young people skills for employment. However, Taqaddam provides its participants with a wider set of enduring life skills in order to better prepare them for challenges ahead such as finding a job or pursuing further study.
During year two, Taqaddam will aim to reach out to 1,850 young participants and work with 120 teachers across 87 schools and youth organisations. This will be realised by growing existing and new programme developments, resulting in a 50% target increase across the region.
Funding partner HSBC has a commitment to helping young people reach their potential through its community investment programmes. Sabrin Rahman, Head of Corporate Sustainability for the MENA region, HSBC, said:
“We actually helped devise the concept as we felt there was a disconnect between what skills were on offer in the marketplace and what employers were looking for. Traditional educational systems, especially public schooling, do not focus on the softer and more transferable skills that are needed for the workplace of the future.”
The British Council has similar ambitions. Melanie Relton, British Council Regional Vocational Education and Training Manager for the Middle East and North Africa said:
“Taqaddam aligns to the core of the British Council’s cultural relations vision of creating positive life outcomes for individuals, particularly young people, by giving them the skills for work and life. It makes economic and social sense for us to invest in Taqaddam, as social and economic changes can only be achieved through investment and expanding opportunities for young people.”
There are a number of outcomes that we hope will be achieved for the young participants. They include:
- increased understanding of the value and importance of life skills
- a greater sense of self-awareness and self-concept
- increased feelings of agency and self-efficacy in the face of change
- a greater sense of connection and empathy with their communities
- increased participation and social action
- enhanced positive relationships with peer groups on a national scale
- increased motivation and confidence amongst female participants.
The first set of student workshops are set to take place in February across Egypt and Oman.
The year two contract between HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and the British Council was signed in November 2016. The total budget for year two activities is $772,435 US dollars and activity will conclude in September 2017, although we anticipate that HSBC will continue their commitment to Taqaddam beyond this point.
If you are interested in learning more about Taqaddam, please click here.