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October 09 2013

Emirates Foundation Launches “The 100 Youth Club” to Create Financial Awareness Among Emirati Youth

Launched as part of the Foundation’s Personal financial management program and in collaboration with US-Based financial literacy nonprofit Operation HOPE 
ABU DHABI, UAE  -- October 9, 2013 – Emirates Foundation, in collaboration with Operation HOPE, the US-based organization focused on financial literacy and empowerment, announced today the launch of its latest project, ‘The 100 Youth Club’, which aims to instruct 100 Emirati youth to become trainers and mentors in the field of personal financial management.
The launch of ‘The 100 Youth Club’ builds on the successful initiatives managed by Emirates Foundation’s ‘Esref Sah’ program, which is intended to raise and strengthen awareness for better financial management among Emirati youth by providing them guidance to better means of spending and to encouraging them to save and avoid accumulating financial burdens in the future.
Attending the launch were Emirates Foundation CEO, Clair Woodcraft and Operation HOPE, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, John Hope Bryant.
Coinciding with the launch, Emirates Foundation organized three training workshops to coincide with the launch: (1) Zayed University (Abu Dhabi), (2) the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai, and (3) UAE University in Al Ain. Over 100 participants attended, representing academia, banking institutions, and business sectors.
According to the organizers, the training workshops exceeded all expectations, with the Emirati youth representing a 60% rate of the overall participants of the program. The participants were highly engaged during the sessions, and showed commitment to share their knowledge to their peers in the sectors they represent.
Emirates Foundation launched ‘The 100 Youth Club’ this year as a pilot project, but aims to build on its implementation the following year to include a wider reach across the entire emirates in the country.
Maytha Al Habsi, Chief Programs Officer, Emirates Foundation said: “The 100 Youth Club program aims at Esref Sah being effective and strengthening the networks of the foundation, by taking financial literacy activities to the youth, academic and community centers across the country. We are constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate with key stakeholders, experts, banks, private sector, existing financial programs and interested parties to build a long-term nation-wide platform that is sustainable for the benefit of our youth”.
Ms. Al Habsi further shared, “70% of young Emiratis are reported in debt because they lack effective financial planning and an increasing desire to acquire luxuries, this is an alarming number, thus, we felt it was essential to conduct a program which will make the youth conscious of their spending habits. With the help of our supportive partners and Operation HOPE we are not only able to increase financial literacy and contribute to the reduction of debts among Emirati youth, but also inspire, empower and guide the youth of the UAE to secure the nation’s sustainable future. ”
As part of the Financial Literacy program, this national program has been built to address issues and challenges faced by youth to manage their personal finances and debt. Speaking during the program, Mary Hagerty Ehrsam, President of the Global Youth Empowerment Group, Operation HOPE, and CEO, HOPE New York said, “Many young people around the world, and in the UAE, often struggle to manage and eliminate their debt and the ability to make sound financial decisions.  The key component of the Esref Sah program is that it is designed to empower youth with the tools and inspiration to take control of their financial future”
The Mission of this project is to reach a larger number of youth across UAE each year. Therefore, along with the youth, the media was given a comprehensive tour so they could better understand the services and programs given by Esref Sah to increase financial literacy.
Esref Sah

Esref Sah is one of six programs run by the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, and aims to develop the financial literacy of UAE youth, with a particular focus on the 15 to 25-year age group. The program addresses personal finance issues specific to young Emiratis and provides the tools to help them enhance their financial planning and management skills and avoid excessive debt.
Esref Sah embraces three projects: 
  • The Youth Mentoring Project. Designed to train 100 Emirati young people to the level where they can act as mentors to their peers and pass on financial management advice and tips for better savings practices.
  • The mobile bus project. Maximizing Esref Sah’s impact and strengthening the Foundation’s community links, by taking financial literacy activities and events to youth, academic and community centers across the country.
  • The Educational Curriculum initiative. Incorporating financial education into formal national school teaching.
About Emirates Foundation
Emirates Foundation (EF) was launched in April 2005 as an initiative from His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
In 2012, Emirates Foundation was re-launched under the name “Emirates Foundation for Youth Development” as an integrated national initiative that seeks to invest in UAE youth. EF’s strategy uses the model of venture philanthropy to develop nationwide programs that aim to impact the lives of UAE youth positively and permanently in a manner that is measurable and sustainable. 
The Foundation works in three key areas: social inclusion – looking at some of the challenges facing young people; community engagement – encouraging youth to participate in a voluntary capacity in the civil society; and leadership and empowerment – helping to build young people’s ‘soft skills and prepare them for the work place.
About Operation HOPE (HOPE)
Since its inception in 1992, HOPE, a global nonprofit focused on financial dignity, has empowered more than 2 million individuals and directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to America's low-wealth communities. It has recruited a growing army of 20,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and helped raise average credit scores for financial case management clients more than 120 points over an average 18-month period. It currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and most recently, the United Arab Emirates. Its effort to empower underserved communities is a “silver rights” mission to make free enterprise work for everyone.  To learn more about Operation HOPE or the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit, visit, follow us our Twitter, @operationhope, and like us on Facebook.