EFE is distinctive in creating local nonprofits across MENA, connected through a network that combines local and global expertise.

Education For Employment (EFE) is the leading nonprofit that trains youth and links them to jobs across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  This pivotal region is the hardest place on the planet for youth to get their first job – they are three times more likely to be unemployed than older adults.  

EFE believes in the positive power of youth in MENA. We are confident that youth can transform the trajectory of the region if we give them the chance.  So, we built a network operating in nine countries across the region to bring this vision to life. Through the EFE Network, we match businesses that need qualified employees with young women and men seeking a job, whom we train with skills to succeed on the job and in life. 

Our mission is simple: to create economic opportunities for unemployed youth in the MENA so that they can create a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities.  


MENA has the largest youth population in the world, but also the highest youth unemployment rates. That’s a lot of untapped potential in one place. Imagine what all that young energy and talent could do for this region's future and its economy if given the chance! 

Mismatches are at the heart of these high youth unemployment rates.  There is a dramatic misalignment between the skills taught in local educational institutions and the needs of the labor market. And there are other mismatches, too: mismatches between the types of jobs that youth are raised to expect, and what is available in the job market.  Mismatches between the number of jobs that require social "connections" to secure, and the ambitious, able youth who are desperate to hold those jobs. Youth with limited social capital, and young women, in particular, are the worst off. So we took action.

EFE helps young women and men through demand-driven training programs that link them to the world of work while creating opportunities for them to develop their professional skills, build social capital and engage in their communities. At the same time, EFE works to improve the attitudes of educators, employers, and families to change how youth are prepared for the workforce.