Entra21 Honored for its transferability to other countries

The International Youth Foundation (IYF)’s youth employability program entra21 received the International Prize for Pioneering Human Development Projects from the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) at a recent award ceremony in Manila. AGFUND’s President, Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, welcomed distinguished guests, including the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, HE Mr. Jejomar Binay. IYF’s President and CEO, Bill Reese, was on hand to accept the award.

The AGFUND applauded IYF for the “solid transferability” of its program to different countries worldwide, noting that entra21’s flexible and comprehensive approach to youth employment has since been successfully tested in 35 programs, including those in Africa, Asia, and the Arab States. Over a period of ten years, entra21 scaled up its life and job training skills initiative—originally benefitting 19,000 unemployed and at-risk youth from Latin America and the Caribbean and ultimately reaching more than 136,000 young people in 22 countries across the region. Seventy-five percent of graduates either got a job or went back to school.    

In accepting the award, Mr. Reese said:  “We are deeply grateful to the AGFUND for this honor, particularly in the context of today’s world, where effective and sustainable programs like entra21 are so urgently needed to prepare young people for decent jobs or to become successful entrepreneurs. Young people want to create their own futures, and working together, we can ensure they have the right skills and training to do so. As productive and engaged citizens, this younger generation can be the drivers of economic prosperity here in the Philippines, across the Arab world, and around the globe.”   

As the recipient of the AGFUND’s prize for programs implemented by international and regional NGOs, IYF will receive US$200,000 to support innovative youth employability initiatives. 

The AGFUND is a non-profit regional development organization, established in 1980 with the backing of leaders from the Arab Gulf States to support development efforts that include combating poverty, advancing education, improving health standards, promoting institutional development, and providing training for workers. The prize seeks to encourage innovation and creativity in the area of human development.

The entra21 program has been recognized previously for the effectiveness and scale of its work.  In 2006, for example, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) singled out the program for its Global Development Alliance Excellence Award, and in 2007, the World Bank highlighted the program as a promising employment initiative in its first ever World Development Report on youth