Careem has an ongoing partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and we’ve just announced a commitment to upskilling 200 refugees over the next year five years. The announcement was made at the United Nation’s General Assembly in New York by Magnus Olsson, our Chief Xperience Officer and Co-founder. 

Careem is one of the first of a handful of companies from the Middle East to commit to the empowerment of refugees at such a large scale. We believe it is our duty and responsibility and it makes business sense. We started Careem with the mission to simplify and improve the lives of all people across our region and refugees are very much a part of that.

If organisations at our scale can empower all communities, then only then can we say we have truly achieved our mission. In addition to this, we also believe that we have previously been missing out on an entire pool of talent, that is diverse and rich; programmes of this nature have internationally demonstrated that they have stronger staff retention and benefits to all involved.

We will involve refugees within our operations by providing opportunities for hiring, internships and mentoring, across Careem’s operations spread over 100 cities in 14 countries. Supply and Captains (drivers), call centres and tech are some of the teams that the company will open up to this initiative. Careem’s main goal is to showcase how this mutually-beneficial partnership can have positive impacts in the refugee community and also to its business creating positive experiences across all stakeholders involved.

Here’s Magnus’ speech in full…

“Given the unprecedented events of our last century, there is nothing new or surprising about the large scale, forced movement of people and communities.

“…what is astonishing and disturbing for our generation, is the sheer magnitude of displaced people in our world today, and the impact this is having across nations and communities.

“My name is Magnus Olsson, and I’m the Co-founder of Careem.

“Careem is the leading tech platform from, and for, the Greater Middle East…we provide transport and mobility in more than 100 cities across our region.

“Our region extends from Morocco to Pakistan; Turkey to Sudan; and is home to over 700 million people.

“It’s a region with some of the world’s most exciting and fast growing markets, but it’s also a region that is responsible for over half of the world’s refugees.

“an entrepreneur from the Greater Middle East, I’m constantly asking: “Is it time for the business community to rethink how we view refugees? Is it time for us to consider ways for refugees to play a more meaningful role in the commercial and economic advancement of our society?

“Careem, means generous, and our purpose, the reason we exist, is to simplify and improve the lives of all people across our region.

“In May of 2017, we partnered with UNHCR to leverage our digital, ride-hailing platform to support their cash-assistance program in Jordan and Lebanon.

“We created a simple and innovative way in which our customers could donate to refugees every time they ride with us. A quarter of a million rides have been taken since the launch, resulting in a contribution of more than $300,000.

“Today, we are taking our commitment to refugees to another level. In collaboration with TENT, and as part of our ongoing partnership with UNHCR, Careem pledges a commitment to hiring and upskilling 200 refugees, over the next five years.

“To meet this commitment, Careem will involve refugees within its operations, by providing opportunities for jobs, internships as well as workshops and mentoring. We are immensely proud and excited to join the Tent Partnership and hope it will inspire others from our region to do the same.

“On behalf of all of us at Careem, we thank you for giving us this opportunity to step up and do our part.”