Queen Rania, J-WEL take on refugee education

Held under the patronage of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, the meeting was chaired by Hassan Jameel, Community Jameel president, and Kevin Watkins, Save the Children UK CEO.
Updated 24 September 2019

Queen Rania, J-WEL take on refugee education

The Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF), Save the Children and the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) convened a high-level meeting on refugee education in Amman on Sept. 9, addressing one of the critical humanitarian issues born out of the global refugee crisis.

Held under the patronage of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, the meeting brought together philanthropists, business leaders, donor institutions and international and regional development organizations, and was chaired by Hassan Jameel, Community Jameel president, and Kevin Watkins, Save the Children UK chief executive. 

The Amman meeting followed a high-level roundtable held at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2019, which Queen Rania also attended, and which was chaired by Jameel and Helle Thorning Schmidt, then chief executive of Save the Children International and former prime minister of Denmark. The meeting was also part of the buildup to the Global Refugee Forum, which will be held in Geneva in December by UNHCR.

Speaking at the roundtable, Jameel said: “At Community Jameel, we recognize the importance of education. By supporting teachers’ well-being, in conjunction with improving quality teaching practices and student learning, we have the opportunity to re-establish the transformative role of education in vulnerable children’s lives.”

Save the Children UK CEO Watkins said: “Save the Children is celebrating 100 years of humanitarian and development experience and we are delighted to be partnering with such high-level, global philanthropists on this critical agenda.

“Over half of the world’s 25 million refugees are children. If those children were a single country, that country would be the country with the world’s worst education indicators. More than half of the world’s school-aged refugee children — 4 million in total — are out of school.” 

Among the attendees were senior representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UAE-based Al-Ghurair Foundation for Education, the Saudi-based Alwaleed Philanthropies, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the LEGO Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the World Bank.

Following its initial launch by Queen Rania as an online adult learning platform, Edraak partnered with Google.org and the Jack Ma Foundation to launch a K-12 platform, providing quality Arabic education materials to both children and adults, accessible for free to refugees and others across the region. 

Another program, the Transforming Refugee Education toward Excellence (TREE) initiative, received a major boost with the announcement on Monday that philanthropic organization Dubai Cares had committed $1.5 million to the program.

TREE is an initiative of Save the Children and MIT J-WEL being piloted in Jordan, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with Community Jameel and Dubai Cares. Over a five-year period, it aims to equip Jordanian teachers with skills to deliver effective teaching, and to help students suffering from trauma overcome challenges.


KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

Updated 24 September 2020

KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has partnered with the investment platform VentureSouq, startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator anchored at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), and its partner Tamkeen, to launch the first Conscious Investor Fellowship in the GCC. The pan-regional fellowship is a six-week virtual program dedicated to enabling regional investors in the GCC to create sustainable change through impact investments. The program, which will take place from Oct. 7 to Nov. 25, comes as part of the upcoming annual Angel Rising Symposium, to be held virtually between Nov. 24-25, which provides education and conversations on the future of the angel investment sector and how it can fuel national and regional innovation.

The fellowship aims to empower the next generation of regional mission-driven investors who will fuel emerging ventures using technology for meaningful change, resulting in a measurable positive impact. Twenty-five investors from family offices, corporate and government entities will be welcomed as fellows of this inaugural cohort, where they will learn how to identify and invest into tech-enabled impact-driven startups.

The program will cover conscious investment strategies, startup diligence and valuations, impact measurement, portfolio management, and global sector trends in the impact space. Elective thematic masterclasses will also be offered, with a specific focus on health tech, educational tech, environmental tech, and agricultural tech. Participants will be able to apply their knowledge and invest in live deals through VentureSouq’s Conscious Collective Fund. The inaugural edition is held in collaboration with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center and Hub71.

Hattan Ahmed, head of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, said: “KAUST is driven by a mission to advance research and create new technologies that address our greatest global challenge in food, water, energy, and the environment. We are starting to see more deep tech startups emerging from the ecosystem, disrupting existing industries and creating new solutions to these challenges. The Conscious Investor Fellowship is a key step to advancing this ecosystem and educating regional investors about the potential of emerging technologies and their long-term value. For Saudi Arabia in particular, there is a unique opportunity to nurture this deep tech ecosystem for real economic transformation.”

Ramesh Jagannathan, research professor of engineering, vice provost for entrepreneurship at NYUAD, and managing director of startAD, said: “Conscious investment is a growing global force, accelerated by the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic. In the UAE, and specifically Abu Dhabi, we have a unique opportunity to engage with this global trend, given that the emirate has the highest net potential wealth globally.”