The 36th Annual Governors Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah
The Vocational Literacy Program for Poverty Reduction (VOLIP) session was held at the sidelines of the 36th Annual Governors Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Attended by high-level government delegations, development partners, NGOs and other stakeholders, the session highlighted key factors facing the African continent in poverty and education, and discussed ways to alleviate poverty in developing member nations.
Dr. BachirMohamadFadlallah, Director of ISDF, made clear distinctions with what is needed to bridge the educational gap; “creating jobs for the youth must come high in the priorities of governments, because this disconnection between education and getting a job has had an obvious negative impact on our member countries (MCs). The IDB vision aims at fighting poverty, and this program is a very practical tool to doing so. The exchange of knowledge and success stories is a useful exercise because rather than re- inventing the wheel, it allows swift replication. By training them intensively you are enabling them to find jobs or to launch their own businesses.”
VOLIP is an initiative for “Islamic Partnership on Literacy and Poverty Reduction” created to help poor and illiterate families by bridging the gap in education, particularly amongst women and people living in rural areas, and the gap in the access to financial services.
The Session highlighted the key achievements of the VOLIP in member countries, shared the IDB’s experience and lessons learned in combating unemployment, ways to mainstream the VOLIP model and other proven approaches in member countries and to identify potential partners to expand the program beyond the current scope.
VOLIP's key local partner in KSA is the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). Dr. RashidAL Zahrani, Chairman of TVTC spoke about the corporationwhose aim isto prepare thehuman resource for technical and vocational fields and address the increasing need in the Kingdom for qualified Saudi youth for technical and industrial fields,given that 57% of the Saudi population is under 19 years of age. Up to date, 700 million SAR were allocated to employment programs, 16,3% of which were directed to TVTC. Under the guidance of its General committee for the improvement of curriculums, the TVTC implemented a National System for Joint Training for out-of-schools youth.
The program contributes through national functional literacy projects to the achievement of the Education Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in OIC member countries. The VOLIP is among the first programs within the first Five Year Strategy of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISDF), launched in May 2007, and facilitated training and access to micro-finance programs at 60% of the budget, taught 20,000 out-of-school children, trained 400,000 young adults and currently supports 500,000 women workers enrolled in the program.