Reducing cultural barriers; widening participation; providing opportunities for under-served communities. These three important goals are core to Virtual Internships’ greater mission of bridging the gap between education and the workplace, whilst effectively preparing young people for the future of work. This mission was embodied in the first quarter of 2022 when Virtual Internships marked the successful completion of the second program in partnership with Kiron, a non-profit organization providing high-quality educational and development opportunities for refugees and under-served communities. The collaboration began in 2020 with a pilot program of 5 participants; from its success and through further funding in collaboration with SPARK, the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD)’s Tadamon program, the second Kiron Partnership and the much larger program launched earlier this year with 50 participants.
From Pilot to Fully-Funded Program: More Development Opportunities for Refugees and Under-Served Communities
To celebrate the completion of the program, Virtual Internships was delighted to host an inspiring graduation ceremony for a cohort of talented refugees. The celebratory occasion honored participants for whom our program offers unparalleled access to career advancement and skill development.
“During a crisis, it is even more difficult to find a job. Through the partnership with Virtual Internships, these learners get a great opportunity to experience a virtual workplace, build their skills, get tailored support and mentoring, and grow their networks. This is a very valuable step towards entering the job market and reaching their career goals.”
– Louise Linnander, Partnerships Manager at Kiron
The 50 participants –originally from Syria, Palestine, and Yemen– have been displaced from their home countries and are currently living in Lebanon.
The Kiron X Virtual Internships Program
Virtual Internships’ accessible and customizable model connected the participants to meaningful 8-week placements in 10 unique career fields, with companies located across 19 countries and 4 continents, allowing them to apply and develop their 21st-century skill sets despite being in a challenging time of transition. The entire program is supported by our robust career development curriculum and engaged Intern Experience Managers who provide guidance to participants throughout and beyond their remote work placements.
The participants demonstrated their dedication, resilience, and resourcefulness to successfully complete the program with overwhelmingly positive outcomes. Highlights among the participants include:
- 12% of candidates were offered a paid, contractual work opportunity after completion
- 51% of candidates were offered an extension of the opportunity after completion of the program
- 85% feel confident in obtaining a future full-time job
- 91% would recommend Virtual Internships to a friend or colleague
- 100% agree that completing a virtual internship increased their ability to work remotely
The Power of Remote Work Opportunities in Challenging Times
In recent years, there has been a massive increase in the focus on remote and virtual work, as well as the need and opportunity to support disadvantaged populations with more access to impactful opportunities. This partnership exemplifies the power and potential of intentional collaborations for social good and demonstrates significant opportunity for replication, impact, and scale.
“As a refugee, we have so many challenges and difficulties to manage every day. But the internship program has given me the opportunity to be a part of the global working community, and to be honest, without this internship, it could’ve taken me years and a lot of missed opportunities to learn what I did in only two months with Virtual Internships. This short placement has become such a huge part of my journey – it’s really been a life-changing opportunity.”
– Eihab Ballor, Kiron Participant. Read Eihab’s full story here.
Get in Touch to Discuss Your Tailored Impactful Partnership
If you are an organization supporting beneficiaries with employability, skills development, and career advancement, or a company eager to advance the development of under-served communities, please reach out directly to our Foundations Partnerships Manager, Alex Ward, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can arrange a partnership for impact.