» Development of young people's skills in the Arab States
10.11.2012 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

Development of young people's skills in the Arab States

UNESCO remains committed to support young people in the Arab States, in particular in Egypt and Lebanon.

In Egypt, the UNESCO Office in Cairo, in cooperation with Oyoun Masr, Association for Cultural and Social Development, has started a series of 4 workshops which promote democracy and human rights among young people in Egypt. The first of the series, which will be organized in October and November 2012, took place in Alexandria from 21 to 24 October, and gathered 20 young men and women from urban and rural areas (Alexandria, Kafr El Sheikh, El Gharbeya, El Dakahleye and Damietta).

Participants from 18 to 30 years old learn basic concepts on human rights and democracy through video scripts extracted from daily situations in Egypt, UNESCO publications on human rights, lectures, speeches, and group discussions. After the completion of the workshop, participants are expected to play the role of multiplier and disseminate the concepts of democracy and human rights in their communities.

After the revolution in 2011, Egypt has been striving for building a democratic society but concepts of human rights and democracy are new to many people. This series of workshops aims to provide especially young people in rural areas an occasion to learn about human rights and democracy and also to build the sense of solidarity in their communities.

In Lebanon, where UNESCO has been leading a joint United Nations Project to support informed decision-making and policy reforms and to enhance youth participation in public life. In this perspective, the UNESCO Office in Cairo has held a 3-day training workshop, from 7 to 9 November 2012, which gave an introduction on social media campaigning and advocacy to young civil society activists from the country.

The training was given in Arabic by a team of trainers of the Global Platform, Action Aid, an international non-governmental organization based in Jordan.

The workshop not only enhanced the participants' knowledge and skills in new communication tools and approaches but also enhanced their awareness on the social impact of the climate challenge in the Arab region, by selecting cases related to the issue, a major contemporary driver of social transformation.

As the outcome of the activity, the United Nations Development Action Framework (UNDAF) and Millennium Development Goal 7 (MDF 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability) will be promoted in Lebanon with a more skilled, better networked and thus more meaningful participation of young civil activists and journalists in environment sustainability awareness creating within a wider public in Lebanon and the Arab region.

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