Expanding the Reach. Widening the Impact.
What better place than cosmopolitan Beirut to hold a NET-MED Youth World Café?
It was all set at Chabibeh Sporting Club for the 20 participants: the tables, the chairs, the butcher block paper, the flip charts, the pens, a pleasant environment and a fertile ground for collaborative dialogue and knowledge-sharing.
The participants, divided in four teams, were all young women and men representing 16 diverse NGOs active in the Mount Lebanon area. They met on June 30, 2016, to discuss the objectives and implementation strategies of NET-MED Youth, and to share their expectations, needs and concerns when working with and for youth.
Discussions were lively and ideas started flowing as soon as the conversations kicked-off. All teams agreed that through NET-MED Youth activities they could further promote active youth engagement and participation in civic life, which in turn would encourage the creation of local action projects within their communities. In more concrete terms, participants discussed how creating sports and arts centers, for instance, would help build important life skills for youth, such as tolerance and inclusive citizenship, and would promote well-being and positive social interactions.
“By raising awareness on the importance of a National Youth Policy in Lebanon, designing and implementing local activities that are in line with the policy’s recommendations and building the capacity of youth, NET-MED Youth will ensure that youth-led and youth-targeted NGOs gain empowerment,” said George Awad, UNESCO Program Officer in Lebanon.
And because there is always a good opportunity at a café – whether it is to find the most flavorful coffee or to engage in conversation with interesting people – the participants of the World Café agreed on appointing a regional focal point to coordinate all actions, creating regional working groups and organizing thematic workshops for youth, particularly on youth participation and empowerment, and media literacy.
For NET-MED Youth teams, building conversations and promoting effective exchanges has always been at the core of all their activities and has always led to concrete action on the ground. More encounters will follow, in Akkar, Tripoli, South-Lebanon and Bekaa, between July and December 2016, leading to a national conference.
Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.
Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs.
Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.