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International Youth Day – Defying the Odds in Yemen

Published 08/12/2015 by Global Communities

International Youth Day – Defying the Odds in Yemen

Majed holds a celebratory cake upon his graduation from the MENA-YES car electrician technician program.
“I wish that every Yemeni young person can have a similar opportunity as I got from MENA-YES.”
Majed was 11 when he started working after school to help support his parents and five brothers. As the needs of his family grew, he was forced to drop out of school and piece together a full-day’s work with odd jobs. However, Majed always knew that to be successful he had to find a way to continue his education.
This chance came earlier this year. Eager to move beyond his current job of selling ice cream and secure a better future for his wife and daughter, Majed applied to the Global Communities MENA Youth Empowerment Strategy (MENA-YES) program to become an auto-mechanic. Much to his relief, he was accepted. Finally, at the age of 23, he was going back to school.
As the first day of classes neared, the violence in his home city of Sana’a, Yemen increased. Attending classes was extremely dangerous due to the almost daily airstrikes. But Majed was undeterred. Throughout the month of May, he attended every single class and completed 100 training hours. And on June 5, Majed graduated with a certificate from the car electrician technician program — honored as the top student in his class. Since then, he has completed his apprenticeship and secured full-time job as an auto-mechanic.

Now, instead of scooping ice cream and dreaming of a better future for him and his family, he is building it.

Global Communities’ MENA-YES program provides job training to at-risk youth in Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen. Learn more about it here.