Roia, in partnership with GIZ and Baytna Syria, will establish an ICT Academy in Atarib, in the west of Aleppo province. The Academy will provide young unemployed Syrians with lifelong vocational training and allow them to access the local and global job market.
Atarib: IDP and livelihood challenges
As the humanitarian crisis continues to spread across Syria, the number of people forced to flee their homes and now internally displaced rose to 6.1 million. The Aleppo governorate received over 10 thousand new IDPs (Internally Displaced People) arrivals. The population in the city of Atarib has swelled from 30,000 before the war to nearly 50,000 and continues to grow.
The city of Atarib has suffered from harsh bombardment, with a particularly devastating airstrike killing 50 people in 2017. The district is now part of de-escalation areas where hostilities are to cease according to the Astana Memorandum signed by Russia, Iran and Turkey.
Nonetheless, access to services and livelihood opportunities remain scarce. In Atarib, as in many other areas inside Syria, young people are among the most economically and socially affected groups. Livelihoods have been seriously compromised by 7 years of war and several people still don’t have access to basic goods. With limited employment opportunities and insufficient incomes in households, vulnerable categories like youth and women are at serious risk of negative coping mechanisms as child labour, meal skipping, debt and high-risk/illegal work.
Because of the high IDP population and its strategic position to ensure transportation for the students, Atarib is a logical choice for Roia to set up an ICT Academy. Our aim is to integrate the young IDP population of the region giving them a chance to have a positive influence on their futures.
The ICT Academy: vocational skills and access to the job market
The ICT Academy will set up vocational training for young people of Atarib. Roia’s objective is to provide them with access to livelihood and job opportunities through online freelancing. During the training, students will learn how to design a dynamic website and use graphic softwares, as well data entry and sale tactics. Moreover, we will provide them with English classes and direct livelihood activities, as internships and jump-start workshop.
In partnership with Microsoft, we have recently developed Subul, a freelancing platform. Throw this platform, clients and companies from all around the world will be able to contact our beneficiaries for paid IT and non IT-related activities. Our will is that, after the training, this young folk will be able to work remotely and broaden their horizon in terms of work opportunities.
The ICT academy will accommodate 200 beneficiaries. It will draw extensively on lessons learnt from the ICT academy project in Eastern Ghouta that Roia has previously implemented.
ICT for Gender Empowerment
We designed the project in order to guarantee gender equality between beneficiaries. Years of conflict have destroyed the local economic in the Atarib and affected especially women. As they are less likely than men to have a job or a stable source of income, most of them remain unemployed.
ICT and the digital economy are a proven powerful tool for women empowerment and wellbeing in many realities around the world. In order to facilitate women engagement, each school of the academy will have a dedicate area where children can be looked after.