Knowsley investment charity One Ark is supporting residents to take part in a global programme that helps young people develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
One Ark – part of the First Ark Group – is aiming to engage over a hundred residents in the World Merit programme, as part of its aim to provide employment and life changing opportunities for the people of Knowsley.
The Merit Next Leadership Programme will provide young adults with the opportunity to participate in a year-long paid-for training programme, which will include visits to London, Liverpool, New York and Washington DC.
One Ark has committed to working with World Merit to sponsor three young people from Knowsley to earn a place on the programme. One Ark and World Merit will also be running an engagement programme for Knowsley residents – offering them mentoring and career advice. Tony Cahill Executive Director for Business and Service Development said: “The World Merit programme will help to create opportunities for young people across Knowsley to gain invaluable skills that could be a real benefit to their career and personal development. The new experiences on offer through the scheme will help to raise aspirations and create stronger communities that people are proud to live in.”
Over the next nine months prospective candidates in Knowsley will take part in activities such as organising events or volunteering which they earn credits for, with the top three being chosen to take part in the global programme.
One Ark and World Merit have appointed 28-year-old Emily Karatay – a former World Merit participant and Knowsley resident – who will deliver World Merit Knowsley and will be responsible for mentoring and supporting the 100 young people engaged on the programme. Chris Arnold, Chief Executive of World Merit, said: “From the start it has always been our ethos to be as inclusive as possible – we encourage people from all cultures and social backgrounds to get involved. For many this will be the first time they are travelling abroad and this will help to really broaden their horizons and think big. The project is especially important to me – I was born in Knowsley and it means a lot to be able to give young people from my hometown the opportunity to experience the Merit Next programme. We are delighted that One Ark has partnered with us in the project and is working with its residents to develop a new generation of leaders, thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators on the ground in Knowsley.”