SPARK and the Islamic Development Bank Conclusion and Inauguration Ceremony
SPARK cemented the closing of its Tadamon Programme while inaugurating the start of the (Skills, Training, Education) STEP Programme. The ceremony was held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, and with the participation of His Excellency Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Founder of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, and SPARK’s founder and CEO, Mr. Yannick Du Pont.
On October 1, 2022 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Amman, Jordan, more than 200 students, 50 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs, representatives of the Netherlands embassy in Jordan and representatives from both the public and private sectors of Jordan welcomed His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group in SPARK and the Islamic Development Bank conclusion of “Tadamon” programme and the inauguration of the “STEP” Programme ceremony.
His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, met in person with five MSMEs and start-ups that benefited during the period of the Tadamon programme. H.E. also met with five students who received scholarships during the programme cycle. The Tadamon programme provided scholarships to 1,200 students, placing 700 internship opportunities within various private sector institutions and supporting 1,300 MSMEs with intensive technical support.
The ceremony was opened by the national anthem of Jordan, followed by welcome remarks from SPARK’s founder and CEO, Mr. Yannick Du Pont. “ It’s my great privilege and honour to host this ceremony under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank Group. Since 2018, IsDB has strategically partnered with SPARK to support the most vulnerable youth to study, work and grow their businesses. I would also like to warmly welcome His Excellency Mr Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Founder of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, for joining us today.”
“Your stories inspire us all and thus I encourage you to share your journeys with others. Doing so will not only motivate them but also help you solidify the positive impact you have had in your own life.” – H.E. Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser
The ceremony included an inspirational speech delivered by His Excellency Dr. Al Jasser in which he stated, “What I have witnessed today proves that the IsDB’s approach to supporting youth and helping them develop employability skills, get an education, and become self-sufficient entrepreneurs and employees continues to be the right way to build future generations.”
His Excellency Dr. Al Jasser stressed the importance of continuing hard work with partners to promote innovation and resilience among Syrian refugees and their host communities so that all people are empowered to thrive in their communities. H.E has also commended the efforts of the Government of Jordan for their generous support to support a decent life and work conditions for refugees in Jordan.
Afterwards, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, His Excellency Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Founder of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, and SPARK’s Founder and CEO, Mr. Yannick Du Pont were invited to the stage to inaugurate the STEP Programme which is a qualitative intervention in partnership between the Islamic Development Bank, the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Fund for Refugee Education and SPARK, with a budget of $10 million, and will be implemented over a period of 24 months.
“Together, we can transform lives for whole communities for the better” – H.E. Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair
His Excellency Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Founder of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, also delivered a keynote speech in which he highlighted the efforts of SPARK and IsDB in establishing instrumental pathways toward sustainable employment and changing the lives of youth.
SPARK is proud to continue the strategic partnership with the Islamic Development Bank for over five years of impactful programmes to support the youth of the IsDB member countries (MCs) through offering means to facilitate entrepreneurship and higher education. Years of collaboration within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the IsDB have led to significant improvements in the lives of refugees, women, and other vulnerable populations. Job creation and economic resilience in fragile and conflict-affected regions remain our core mission, and we look forward to future fruitful collaborations with the IsDB and our international development partners.