Youth Leadership Development Foundation graduates 350 youth [Archives:2008/1155/Last Page]

May 15 2008

By: Mahmoud Assamiee
Youth Leadership Development Foundation (YLDF) held a graduation ceremony for more than 350 graduates of their 2007 youth qualification programs last week in Sana'a.

The foundation runs five programs targeting young people between the ages of 18 and 30 years old in order to include them in the job market and trains them how to manage small projects. Some of the training programs take up to two years to complete, though others are only four months long.

Students have to apply to the program and go through a selection process before attending the training, and must complete internships with various organizations before they are permitted to graduate.

The ceremony was attended by representatives from United Kingdom, Japan and United States embassies, plus representatives from the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Ahmad Al-Ishari.

The graduates received certificates in their five respective YLDF programs: Young Businesspeople, Youth Participation in Civil Society, Preparing Youth Leadership, Qualifying Young Female Leaders and an English Diploma Program.

YLDF's Executive Director, Iman Al-Tawqi, said the foundation, which established two centers in 2001, and is one of the few civil society organizations which caries out youth projects. One center is for language study and the other is a center for youth improvement.

Al-Tawqi said that the foundation gets financial support from the Canadian Fund, the British Embassy, the U.S. embassy, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Total Company.

In the ceremony, Ahmad Al-Ishari, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, said that the training programs that the foundation runs promote young people's creative capabilities in different scientific and technical fields. He also noted that the skills the youth learned during their training would contribute to national development later on.

He called on local partners and donors to support youth foundations in Yemen that help young people find livelihood stability and raise their economic and social statuses.

YLDF's Chief of Executive Directors, Intalk Al-Mutawakel, delivered a speech in which she talked about importance of including male and female youth into civil society. ''The foundation has been for youth and to work with youth,” said Al-Mutawakel.