Refugees: A Future Talent We Cannot Afford To Lose

Corporate Social Responsibility

Published: October 11, 2017

Our business is all about people. The people who work for us, the customers we work for, the alumni and corporates who use our platform. And we consider Corporate Social Responsibility to be integrated into our DNA and a mainstream part of our day to day businesses.

We know that diversity of language, thought, age, gender, culture, education, experience and vision is critical to all of our personal and professional lives. As HR technologists, we know all too well that the rich source of talent the world relies on for innovations that grow our economies, enhance humanity’s future and change life as we know it, needs to expand not shrink.

Through our platform, EnterpriseAlumni, we work hard to ensure that talent is easy to identify and harness in the professional world. But beyond that, we know that we risk that pool of people dramatically contracting in the future if we don’t act to avert a humanitarian crisis currently taking place.

Right now, 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes, face unimaginable hardship and are out of school. To put it into perspective, the ongoing conflict in Syria alone has caused the largest humanitarian crisis since World War 2.

Co-founder Emma Sinclair saw this first hand when she recently visited Azraq camp in Jordan (see video here), a country home to 650,000 Syrians refugees, with Unicef in her role as a UNICEF business advisor.

The next Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg could well be amongst those unschooled children. Einstein, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger, Freud and Marx were all refugees who fled the Nazis and antisemitism. Freddy Mercury fled violence in Zanzibar. Where would we be without them?

War, famine and natural disaster are risking an entire generation from not reaching their potential.

Emma recently launched UNICEF’s first crowd fund focused on raising funds to roll out Innovation Labs, where young people learn a social innovation curriculum including problem identification and solving, teamwork and critical thinking. The labs also teach technical skills for the 21st century such as engineering, coding, programming and creative media.

The innovation programme aims to empower a new generation of social innovators and help young people unlock their imagination, curiosity and creativity. Workshops are helping young refugees nurture and develop their ideas and seed funding is helping get their innovative and life-changing initiatives off the ground. Young people are also becoming product testers for companies who are designing innovations to help refugees.

These 50 million children and young people need to be armed with the tools they desperately need – education. Engineering, coding, creative media. Skills that they can carry with them wherever they settle. Skills that enable them to reach their full potential.

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