It was difficult not to become one with the place and its people the moment I stepped inside the auditorium. Young Egyptian men and women emitting a strong energy of anticipation and an unbeatable sense of accomplishment all paused to smile to the camera as I passed. Everywhere I looked, there was something different, yet the same: Team members sitting around a laptop, double-checking their presentations for the last time, again; a group already on stage, rehearsing their role play; some girls sharing the latest Egyptian puns and nervous laughter.
This day was transformational for them, the day that culminated an intensive six-week job placement training program in which they acquired the skills they were not taught in university but desperately needed to land a decent job. This program is only one of the many programs that Education for Employment Egypt offers. What the NGO provides is all in the name: it seeks to bridge the gap between youth and the private sector through market-driven educational programs connected to respectful job opportunities in Egypt.
Then the graduation ceremony started, and each of the six groups of students went on stage, presenting its project. Their trainers, those who taught them the art of presenting, the puff of air of a /p/ sound, and the answer to the trickiest job interview question, sat in the front row like proud parents, nodding their heads encouragingly, instinctively subvocalizing the words as their students uttered them. By the end of the event, the person clapping the hardest was I, knowing that the more EFE puts youth to work, the more ‘Egypt works’.
For more information: Education for Employment Egypt