Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab region and struggles with chronic instability. Widespread illiteracy, malnutrition, water shortages and unemployment undermine Yemen’s ability to position the next generation as a positive force for growth and development. Roughly 75 percent of the population is under age 25, but low school enrollment has left them unskilled and uneducated.
Relief International harnessed the innovation of urban and rural youth to promote socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurship. Urban youth gained practical skills and experience by working with respected local businesses. Rural youth focused on agricultural entrepreneurship. The program included community service projects to build partnerships among schools, local businesses and communities. The program also offered micro-grants for specific projects led by youth, and concluded with a high-level Innovation Challenge competition.