As the world transitions toward a post-COVID reality with many companies abandoning their corporate offices, encouraging their employees to work from home or anywhere, the workplace is being re-imagined. Now that companies realize that employees do not need to be in an office, an opportunity has opened for refugees who have the skills. Refugees can be hired remotely by global companies.
Na'amal, a UK registered social enterprise, recognizes the potential for refugees and other vulnerable populations to fill this space. Also mindful of the barriers to livelihoods, Na'amal seeks to unlock opportunities, raise awareness to and for refugees, and other vulnerable populations to be in this space. Na'amal facilitates partnerships for logistics, administration, training, content development, linking refugees to opportunities to achieve this goal. According to Lorraine Charles, Na'amal's Co-founder and Director, "Na'amal is built on the premise of establishing strategic partnerships to address the problems that refugees and vulnerable populations encounter to access dignified livelihoods."
A collaboration between UNHCR and CHAMS, an international NGO supporting entrepreneurship, coding schools, and employment for refugees and underserved communities, was established in July 2019. Graduates, now junior web developers, are ready to embark on employment. There is an opportunity for refugees and vulnerable populations, with the technical and soft skills to be part of this new post-COVID paradigm shift in employment. CHAMS has partnered with Na'amal to empower and equip refugees and vulnerable populations to be part of this new work reality. "The cooperation with CHAMS has resulted in training Syrian refugee students and students from the local community in coding skills. We welcome the cooperation with Na'amal on mentoring for remote working in light of changing world and will create livelihood opportunities to the refugees and youth from the host community," said Irene Omondi, the Head of UNHCR Mafraq Sub office, Jordan.
Launching in June 2020, Na'amal's Remote Work Skills Programme will support the development of the skills and mindset to be successful remote workers. Via Na'amal's strategic partnerships, CHAMS graduates will be matched with corporate mentors to provide one on one virtual mentorship to support the development of soft skills for remote work. The programme participants will also provide interactive virtual workshops on key skills for remote work on topics such as communication skills, time management, stress and conflict management, and also individualized virtual English classes. Upon completion of Na'amal's Remote Work Skills Programme, students will be provided a blockchain certification.
"We are pleased to add to our bootcamp journey for refugees, and vulnerable populations much needed remote work capabilities through our Na'amal partnership. This is not a trend; it will be a fundamental shift in how traditional companies will now evolve in the post COVID era. It is a great opportunity for refugees around the world to get a dignified job through remote employment", said Sofiane Ammar, the CHAMS founder.
There is an urgent need for a scalable, sustainable, and replicable model for job creation for refugees and vulnerable populations, and technology has the potential to provide this. Yet, this potential has not been fully realized. CHAMS and Na'amal aims to support refugees and vulnerable Jordanians to realize this potential, equipping and empowering them to be part of this new global and remote workforce with the technical and soft skills needed to navigate this new reality.