Tuesday, 07 June 2016


Taqaddam Supports Strengthening the Capacity of Young People

A Partnership between HSBC and British Council

Cairo, 7 June 2016: HSBC Egypt and British Council Egypt announced five students from El Nasr English School as the first place winners in Taqaddam’s final competition last Saturday 4 June at the Greek Campus in Tahrir. These students have competed against 41 other teams from eight schools in Egypt on actionable ideas to help their community.

Over 230 students from eight schools in Egypt have been inspired to reach greater personal heights after successfully completing the youth development programme Taqaddam.

HSBC Bank Egypt and the British Council have worked together in partnership with the National Institutes in Egypt to deliver the new initiative that has helped young men and women aged 15-16 years old to build their self-confidence and develop the life skills they need to fulfil their potential.

The students and trainers joined HSBC and British Council managers and government personnel in celebrating the end of the seven week programme. Capping it through the ‘Future Ideas’ competition, which asked the students to devise an innovative idea that addressed key global challenges.

Running alongside the school curriculum and being delivered outside of school hours, Taqaddam involved several key learning outcomes, including an understanding of what life skills are; identifying one’s strengths and weaknesses to overcome challenges; and confidence in communicating one’s skills and demonstrating them to others, as well as critical thinking.

The students also challenged themselves through the high profile national competition ‘Future Ideas’, which was facilitated by experienced trainers and supported by HSBC staff. The content for Taqaddam, which means ‘Move Forward’ in Arabic, was delivered by Spark+Mettle, a youth development charity based in London that supports and enables young people to identify, articulate and improve key character strengths, while also building their life skills for a brighter future.

Jeff Streeter, Director British Council Egypt said, “To thrive in the 21st century, young people need to develop the right skills. HSBC and the British Council’s approach with Taqaddam is to better equip the next generation with the skills for learning, skills for work and skills for life”. 

“Students who participated logged on to a tailor-made, on-line resource that helped them to identify their personal strengths and abilities, as well as areas where they needed further development. Two inspiring workshops covered a range of important life skill areas, including critical thinking, effective communications, organized planning and how to take the initiative. Students also learnt the value of showing resilience, grit and determination, while finding purpose and managing emotions were also a key part of the learning experience.”

Sabrin Rahman, Head of Corporate Sustainability, MENA from HSBC Bank Middle East said “A growing body of research is showing that the demand in the working world is shifting from placing an emphasis on left-brain skills such as subject matter knowledge and technical know-how, to right brain skills such as adaptability and imagination. This, coupled with the fact that researchers have proven that the 15-17 year old age group is the most responsive to change, allowed us to work on a comprehensive programme that will play an important role in partnering with students, governments and employers in the region to face some of today’s most pressing challenges. We’re truly delighted to be able to pioneer an innovative and engaging project like Taqaddam in MENA in line with HSBC’s commitment to developing youth.”

Taqaddam finishes with the ‘Future Ideas’ competition

The ‘Future Ideas’ competition, hosted as part of the final phase of the programme, asked students to work in teams to devise an innovative idea that addressed key global challenges related to the environment, health or community’s well-being.

Some students focused on the community theme, submitting various solutions and new ways to live a healthy lifestyle. However, the winning trophy went to, ‘Sweat Money’, was submitted by El Nasr English School, which was the creation of a mobile application for working out towards a healthy lifestyle.

Winning second place, Unguided Graffiti team from Qawmia School focusing on how to clean the graffiti in the streets and the third place went to Port Said School’s team focusing on how to help disabled children in their community.

The winning students have been awarded a volunteering opportunity with HSBC Bank Egypt’s Corporate Social Responsibility projects working on ‘rooftop gardening’ and ‘recycling activities’ to be hosted at the AUC - New Cairo Campus as well as an internship for 2 weeks at British Council Egypt. 

Notes to Editor

For media enquires please contact:

Zeina Mahfouz

email: BritishCouncil@fourcommunications.com

Tel: +971 55 980 6679


Ola Tanani, Corporate Communications Manager, British Council Egypt

Tel: + 20 (2) 3300 1851

Mobile: + 20 (0)106 5299 826  

Email: Ola.Tanani@Britishcouncil.org.eg 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

For more information, please visit our 

You can also keep in touch with British Council Egypt through our Facebook page.

About Taqaddam 

Taqaddam means ‘Move Forward’ in Arabic and is an innovative youth-development programme that is delivered across eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It has been developed in partnership with HSBC Bank Middle East Limited and the British Council, with content developed by Spark + Mettle. The programme is designed to equip young people with a wide set of enduring personal and professional strengths and skills that will enable them to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Taught over seven weeks, Taqaddam starts by a face to face workshop with young people to cover the skills required to be a team player, creative innovator and organized planner. Following the workshops young people have access to Taqaddam online platform where they will develop their character strengths through undergoing missions and skills challenges. 

Students have another opportunity to meet in a face to face workshop where they develop the initiative taker, effective communicator, and critical thinker skills.

The programme ends with a National Future Ideas competition. 

Before the start of the programme teachers take up a specially designed ‘Train the Trainers’ training on Taqaddam and both students and teachers undergo a survey to identify their strengths and which characteristics they need to develop further. 

 About HSBC

For HSBC, sustainability is core to our everyday business. It allows us to support individuals and organisations in achieving their goals by contributing to socio-economic development and environmental protection. Investing in the community, particularly through education, is an important element of HSBC’s sustainability strategy and we place great emphasis on employee volunteering. In 2015, HSBC committed US$205 million to community investment and our employees volunteered over 304,000 hours.

 About Spark+Mettle

Spark+Mettle is a youth development charity based in London. They have been working in the UK for over 4 years, supporting and enabling young people to identify, articulate and improve key character strengths, build their soft skills and grow their professional networks.

For more information, please visit http://sparkandmettle.org.uk/