Youth in Egypt have, for as long as anyone can remember, existed under a dark cloud of disenfranchisement. This is no more apparent than in that always difficult phase of moving from the tattered shelters of education to the big, bad world.
While this translates most explicitly into an unemployment issue, the bigger part of this problem is not that there are no jobs or that no one's hiring; but that there's a gap between youth – who formulate some 70-80% of the Egyptian population – and those who have the resources to make a real change. This has continually rendered the voice of the youth, as it were, almost non-existent.
There are thousands of unprepared students graduating every year with no idea what to anticipate. Access to larger corporations is daunting, selection is difficult and creativity isn't generally seen as a merit, but a hindrance in some ways.
Launched in March 2012 and powered by the leading MENA communications group, MindShare, Wasleens lists its mission as "to minimize the gap between the consumers and the firms from the youth's perspectives." Additionally, it seeks to prepare the young people of today to become pioneers in the business world in the future.
By giving youth the chance to apply their creative experience in real life cases, and giving the businesses access to an exclusive and expanding community of creative employees, Wasleens hopes to pave the way for the exploration of the region's talent pool.
By creating a community of 200+ members from different universities and schools, and using them as a bridge between the students and graduates and business and marketers, Wasleens can help businesses reach youth better through services such as ideation, activation youth research and insights. In turn, Egypt's young minds benefit from simply being exposed to the real market and gain experience that's not offered in university or school. Through training sessions and workshops from MindShare, Wasleens hopes to raise the calibre of graduates and build a more consistent and open dialogue.
Wasleens is preparing a re-launch event which will take place on Friday 25th of April at El Genaina Theatre, Al Azhar Park. Starting at 7PM, the line-up for the festivities will include introductory addresses by Wasleens' business development director, Mina Shenouda, and Mindshare's managing director, Riham El Sawi. This will be followed by a performance from the forever popular musical comedy duo, High on Body Fat, before Nehal Salah – managing director of Zomra Consulting, ex-editor of TeenStuff and Kelmetna delivers a speech titled, The Power of Youth in the Market. There will then be more live music, this time courtesy of acoustic powerhouse, Hany Mustafa.
For more info on Wasleens and the re-launch event, click here.