Today, June 13, Sahara Forest Project and Al Hussein Technical University held a graduation ceremony for the third cohort of female engineers who have completed the training through the “Upskilling Programme in Agriculture Technology and Food Security”. In total, 50 Jordanian females have graduated from the program since the first cohort started in 2020.
The Upskilling Program falls within the SFP’s “She Grows” strategic pillar and is now one of SFP and HTU’s strategic partnership programs to empower women and youth in agritech and food security. The program intended to increase employment opportunities for the participants by focusing on the skills required in the labor market, such as specialized technical skills in the areas of climate-smart agriculture, English language, research, technical writing, and communication skills.
Experienced practitioners and specialists designed and delivered the training. Besides, selected female leaders served as volunteer mentors to guide the graduates through their self-development and market entry journey.
Speaking directly to the female graduates, Managing Director Kjetil Stake of SFP said:
“Dear students, we appreciate that you want to play your part in modernizing the agriculture sector in Jordan. You may have learned a lot, but so have we through your questions, ideas, and curiosity. You have challenged us, motivated us, and inspired us. It has been a meaningful privilege to have you on board with all your talent.”
Stake also emphasized that the long-term ambition is that some of the female graduates can start work at the upscaled, fully commercial SFP facility, whilst also recognizing the fact that an important achievement is the inclusion of SFP activities in Aqaba in the latest UN climate report, IPPC report, where Sahara Forest Project is brought forward by world-leading Climate Scientists as a 1-page case study.
The Norwegian Ambassador H.E. Espen Lindbæck said “To our wonderful graduates, I hope this program has energized and inspired you to work towards food security and greener agricultural technology, and that it has given you some new tools for making this vision a reality. I am very excited to see where this program takes you, and look forward to hearing about your ideas and experiences. Rethinking how we produce food is a crucial task in the face of climate change, energy crises, rising food prices, and water scarcity.”
Furthermore, Prof. Ismael Al Hinti stated that “with the graduation of the third cohort of this amazing program, we are proud that after two years of collaboration and all of the accomplishments we’ve shared with SFP, we’ve created such a high-quality program that empowers young females to be active players in Jordan’s food security and to be independent enough to start their own projects based on their own ideas and to contribute to the growth of their communities”.
Picture from one of the training at the Sahara Forest Project Launch Station in Aqaba, Jordan.