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UNHCR Partners, CHAMS and Na’amal, launch two new coding bootcamps to support dignified digital livelihoods for refugees


Amman and Mafraq, Jordan, 26 May 2021 – UNHCR partner, CHAMS, has launched two coding bootcamps with Na’amal for six months, to provide refugees and vulnerable populations with the skills and networks needed to access dignified livelihoods through remote work. Through coding, software development and soft skills training, students will graduate as junior full stack web developers. This training is followed by a paid internship supported by a personal mentor. The bootcamps, which include thirty-four students including eighteen female students, began on 14 March 2021.

The CHAMS - Na’amal partnership enables a network of holistic support for refugee learners. CHAMS provides training using a blended innovative methodology for coding, while Na’amal’s “Workplace Readiness Programme” teaches learners the soft skills to navigate a remote (as well as co-located) work setting. The curriculum includes interactive virtual workshops on key skills for remote work on topics such as communication skills, time management, and goal setting. Culminating in a six-month paid internship, graduates will also have the support of a personal corporate mentor to further develop their professional skills and networks.

"CHAMS has been operating in Mafraq, Jordan since July 2019 and has successfully accomplished its pilot project; consequently, a group of 22 Jordanians and Syrian refugees have benefited from the project and graduated as Full-Stack Web Developers. We welcome the cooperation with Na'amal which will eventually create livelihood opportunities for refugees and youth from the host community," said Gamal Yacout, the Head of UNHCR Mafraq Sub Office, Jordan.

Discussing the importance of the programme, Na’amal Co-founder and Executive Director, Lorraine Charles said, “Skills training for work in remote contexts is essential to any worker in the current digital economy, but even more so for refugees and other vulnerable communities seeking to advance and sustain careers across geographic borders. Na’amal will provide the opportunity for the refugees and Jordanians in this programme to gain the skills to access dignified digital remote work.”

“Despite COVID and tight budgets, we are pleased to launch our two cohorts this year with a new coding bootcamp in Amman, where fifty percent of refugees live. Through our strategic partnership with UNHCR Jordan and Na’amal, we are convinced that learning how to code and remote work soft skills will set refugees and vulnerable populations on the path to sustainable jobs. The programme also aligns with Jordan’s growing ambitions to move towards an innovative digital economy” said Sofiane Ammar, Founder of CHAMS.

The rise of technology and remote work presents a unique opportunity to link refugees with the global economy through remote-based employment opportunities. The global talent gap has been widely acknowledged. Many global companies struggle to find the talent they need at a reasonable cost. A business case can be made for hiring refugees remotely. The untapped workforce represented by refugees and other underrepresented communities, who have been trained with technical and soft skills, could address the skills shortage. By hiring refugees remotely, companies can fill their talent gap, benefit from having a diverse workforce, and at the same time provide social impact.