UNICEF Egypt appoints champions Ali Farag, Feryal Ashraf as ambassador of Shabab Balad initiative

Ahram Online , Sunday 12 Jun 2022

UNICEF Egypt announced on Sunday appointing world top ranking squash player Ali Farag and winner of the Olympic gold medal in karate Kumite Feryal Ashraf as ambassadors for the Egyptian version of the UN Global Generation Unlimited initiative Shabab Balad.

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The initiative aims to increase the skills of the 28 million young people in the country aged 10-24, and connect them to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, and positive social impacts by 2030.

The initiative was launched during the World Youth Forum (WYF) held in Sharm El-Sheikh last January under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Shabab Balad is the first public-private-youth partnership (PPYP) of its type in the country.

In April, UNICEF Egypt also announced its appointment of young actor Ahmed Dash as their international ambassador for the initiative.

The UN representatives in Egypt, including UNICEF Representative Jeremy Hopkins, celebrated the appointment of the two new ambassadors today.

In their new roles, Farag and Ashraf will support the initiative's work and promote educating, training, skilling and connecting them to the employment opportunities as well as instilling the concept of entrepreneurship among the youth.

The global Generation Unlimited initiative targets all the young people in the world aged 10-24, numbering about 1.8 billion.

In Egypt, the target group represents 27 percent of the population. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is coordinating the initiative, in which many United Nations organisations participate.

 

"A key component of the Shabab Balad initiative is for young people to be front and centre in charting out a vision for young people that will complement Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals," Hopkins said during the ceremony.

Hopkins said that the Shabab Balad ambassadors will be in charge of bringing this conversation to young people in Egypt and to ensuring that young people’s voices are heard at the policy table, adding that he looks forward to cooperating with them within the framework of this important partnership.

Farag and Ashraf have expressed happiness to be part of Shabab Balad, vowing to do their best to help make the youth of Egypt connected and involved with the promising initiative.

"Egyptian athletes have proven their great potential in the Olympic games once they have the proper qualification and I believe Shabab Balad will help all Egyptian youth achieve their dreams,” said Ashraf.

Farag said he is happy to partake in raising awareness of young people in Egypt with the opportunities for secondary education and qualification for the labour market within the framework of the initiative

"I strongly believe that empowering young people in Egypt is a pivotal step to enhance their participation at the national and global levels,” he stated.

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