Young social innovators in Jordan will soon benefit from advanced training, networking, and funding opportunities through Badir, a three-year program launched by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and Starbucks. Its goal: to equip young Jordanians with the knowledge and skills needed to strengthen and scale up their social change projects.

Badir, which is Arabic for “Take the Initiative,” is the newest member of IYF’s YouthActionNet® global network, which now comprises 11 national/regional youth leadership development programs across the globe. The 23 youth to be selected as the first class of Badir Fellows in October 2012 will join a distinguished pool of nearly 600 YouthActionNet® Fellows leading positive change in 65+ countries.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our partnership with Starbucks with the launch of the Badir program in Jordan,” said IYF President and CEO Bill Reese. “Starbucks’ generous support for projects led by YouthActionNet Fellows over the past four years speaks volumes about the company’s commitment to nurturing an emerging generation of young leaders who are pioneering solutions to a host of urgent social and environmental challenges.”

Badir, which was developed by IYF, is fully funded by Starbucks which operates in Jordan through a licensing agreement with M.H. Alshaya Co. “We chose to focus on social entrepreneurship as a means to empower the next generation of community leaders,” said Rana Shaheen, Regional Communications and CSR Manager of Starbucks Coffee MENA. “With Badir, we want to take the aspirations and hard work of civic-minded Jordanian men and women and provide them with the tools they need to think even bigger."

Over the course of three years, Badir will create a national network of 45 leaders, ages 18 to 30, who have successfully implemented social change projects. The program will provide them with social innovation skills and management training to help them strengthen and expand their projects. Through the program’s innovation fund, participants will be eligible to receive a monetary grant of up to USD5,000.

Qualified youth in Jordan have until September 25 to apply to be part of the first class of Badir Fellows.