The King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation & Achievement Launches its 4th cycle
 
As part of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD) efforts to support and promote innovation amongst youth while spreading its outreach of positive change throughout the Arab region, KAFD has once more launched the 4th cycle of the King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation & Achievement, which aims at acknowledging and supporting social innovators amongst Arab youth who are able to find pioneering and innovative solutions to environmental, social, and economic problems within their communities.

The Chairman of The Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, Imad Najib Fakhoury, stated that “the Award was launched by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein at the World Economic Forum which took place in Jordan in 2007. The purpose of the Award is to shed light on the efforts of Arab youth in achieving positive change and solutions to the challenges and needs of their communities. The Award also aims to promote and establish a sustainable understanding of active citizenship for the generations to come”.

Mr. Fakhoury added that the Award seeks to nurture the ability to arrive at creative solutions to solve the rising issues caused by cross border communication. This will allow the Arab youth across the region to cooperate and collaborate amongst each other.

Mr. Fakhoury stated that the winners of the Award will be given a financial award to help expand the scope of their projects and magnify its degree of positive change. Also, the runners-up will be acknowledged for their exceptional work as well as receive the chance to participate in a training program which will build the capacity of its partakers.

Mr. Fakhoury concluded that the selection process of the winners will include an independent assessment of the finalists by a judging panel of experts in innovation and entrepreneurship from the Arab region. The panel will rate the projects against the core criteria of the award: Leadership & Innovation, Collaboration & Partnership, and Impact & Sustainability. The points given by the judges will account for 50% of the total score of the 10 finalists, while the remaining 50% will be scored by public voting which is a new means adopted by KAFD to engage the public in deciding who would be a winner. The latter percentage of the score will be cast online wherein the voters will watch videos of the contestants which will be published via YouTube.


KAFD encourages all the Arab youth who have founded a project that has achieved a tangible social impact on their local community to visit the Award’s website (www.KAAYIA.jo) in order to get introduced to the criteria and apply to be a part of KAAYIA 2015 as the award is open for all Arab youth ages 18-30.

The Award has launched 3 cycles previously in 2009, 2011, and 2013; in which His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein awarded the 20 participants from 8 countries of 2009 and 2011; such projects included maximizing the aid of disabled persons, anti-smoking campaigns, eradication of child labor, employment opportunities for women in rural areas, and the provision of technological training.

However, the third cycle of the Award, which took place in 2013, acknowledged the work of 10 finalists from 6 Arab countries (Jordan, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, and Yemen). His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein further acknowledged the work of 3 winners in an awarding ceremony as part of the World Economic Forum. The winning projects consisted of initiatives to enhance teaching practices, expand health awareness, and empowering youth to advance themselves and their communities.
 
About the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD)
 
A Royal Decree was issued approving the act to establish the King Abdullah II Fund for Development in 2001. As a constituent of this law, the Fund was initiated to operate as a non -governmental organization, which seeks to achieve development in the various governorates of the Kingdom and its regions. Through these efforts the Fund seeks to contribute to the support of social and educational development efforts, and the establishment of national development projects which aim at distributing development gains in sustainable means, through partnership with the private sector and civil society institutions, resulting in the improvement of living standards. The Fund focuses on three main pillars: innovation, employability and active citizenship while covering the areas of intersection between those pillars such as entrepreneurship, capacity building, civic engagement, social entrepreneurship and volunteerism.