Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Z Zurich Foundation (ZZF), JA Worldwide, and JA Africa (www.JA-Africa.org) are proud to announce the expansion of the Social Equity Program (SEP) to seven countries, returning for a second year in Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Uganda, while introducing youth-educational experiences in four new countries: Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Tanzania, and Togo.

Since its inception, SEP has proven to be a transformative force, positively impacting the lives of over 10,000 direct beneficiaries. Delivered through dynamic boot camps, interactive seminars, and workshops, both in-person and via JA Africa’s Digital Entrepreneurship Education Program (JA DEEP), the program has catalyzed the creation of nearly 500 social equity projects, to the benefit of tens of thousands more. Now, the program is expanding to include Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Tanzania, and Togo to empower an additional 46,000 post-secondary youth aged 16–25. This expansion is towards the goal of impacting the lives of more than 550,000 youth at the end of the three-year partnership.

SEP instills the ethos of social entrepreneurship, championing initiatives that address the continent’s challenges with climate change, food shortages, and inadequate infrastructure for health and education. Moreover, mentorship opportunities provided by Zurich Insurance Group employees from diverse global backgrounds extend participants’ perspectives and networks far beyond their local communities, fostering invaluable connections and expanding their horizons.

“Providing equal opportunities for youth in underserved communities is a key tenet of this partnership, said Simi Nwogugu, President, and CEO at JA Africa ZZF’s focus on social equity is pivotal in creating a level playing field where everyone has a fair chance to succeed and thrive. Achieving social equity requires proactive efforts to identify and address disparities in areas such as education and employment. We are thrilled about this expansion. The success achieved so far is not ours alone; it is a testament to the power of collaboration and partnership. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the government entities, local businesses, educational institutions, and the dedicated individuals who have supported us on this journey.”.

Head of Z Zurich Foundation, Gregory Renand, said “By providing resources, knowledge, and skills to youth in underserved communities, we can empower them to chart their own course toward sustainable employment. Collaborating with multiple actors is key to unlocking youth potential. We are thrilled to scale this program further by supporting JA Africa to operate in more countries in the region for many years to come.”

With youth unemployment rates soaring and the challenge of NEET (students not in education, employment, or training) becoming increasingly prevalent, the urgency to empower young people to be innovative job creators rather than job seekers has never been more crucial. In Africa, where twelve million youth compete for only three million jobs annually, initiatives like SEP are paramount in addressing this pressing issue.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of JA Africa.

About JA Africa:
As one of Africa’s largest and most impactful youth-serving NGOs, JA Africa delivers hands-on, immersive learning in work readiness, financial health, entrepreneurship, sustainability, STEM, economics, citizenship, ethics, and more. JA Africa has a presence in 16 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and collectively we reach more than 900,000 youth in more than 3,000 schools each year. JA Africa Works in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. JA Africa is a member of JA Worldwide. Learn more at www.JA-Africa.org.

About JA Worldwide:
Through JA’s real-world entrepreneurship programs—the longest-running in the world—students work as a team to develop an innovative product or service, finance their startup business, creatively market their product, deliver finished products, and launch their careers as entrepreneurs. Our volunteer-led work-readiness experiences teach critical work skills that prepare young people for college, trade school, or the workforce. And JA’s hands-on, role-playing financial-health experiences expose young people to smart saving, sound investing, and thoughtful spending.

Delivering more than 17 million student experiences each year through 450,000 teachers and business volunteers in 118 countries, JA Worldwide is one of few organizations with the scale, experience, and passion to build a brighter future for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Visit JAWorldwide.org.

About Z Zurich Foundation:
The Z Zurich Foundation works alongside Zurich Insurance Group employees and other stakeholders as well as with governments and NGOs in pursuit of a future where people can thrive in the face of increasing climate hazards, where those of us feeling the stresses of life are empowered to speak up, where the marginalized in our society can reach their full potential, and where those facing crises can be supported

The Z Zurich Foundation is a Swiss-based charitable foundation established by members of the Zurich Insurance Group. It is the main vehicle by which Zurich Insurance Group delivers on its global community investment strategy. Visit the Z Zurich Foundation’s website to learn more about its work: https://Zurich.Foundation.

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