x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Emirates Foundation takes on a younger look

Rebranded foundation will shift its focus to research and programmes for young people.

ABU DHABI // The Emirates Foundation has changed its name to reflect a new, younger look.

Now the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, it is shifting its focus to research and programmes for young people.

The organisation will focus on helping residents aged between 15 and 35 in areas including career guidance, finances and volunteer experience, said the chief executive Clare Woodcraft.

"We see a high percentage of the population is young and we see high growth rates," Ms Woodcraft said. "… if you are not training your people and developing your people in the right way, you are going to hinder your progress."

The foundation estimates there are 30,000 to 40,000 young people unemployed in the UAE.

Created in 2005, the foundation focused on youth leadership, society and culture, and "knowledge creation".

But after a year-long review, staff decided on the new mission.

The shift will involve an expansion of the Takatof programme, which gives young people volunteer experience. The foundation also wants to expand more into the Northern Emirates.

It has plans for youth programmes on managing finances and debt, Ms Woodcraft said.

Staff will also focus on opportunities for youth with disabilities.

The foundation announced a new business model yesterday, focused on venture philanthropy instead of short-term grants.

vnereim@thenational.ae