The youth represent a vast and often untapped resource for immediate and long-term community development efforts. They are receptive to new ideas and are willing to invest more in change. When young people are able to access opportunities that spark their creativity and dynamism, they become a potent force for positive change in their communities.
In our partnership with the youth, we focus on education, participation and choice. We work together to even the odds by helping them access quality education, and by generating opportunities for personal growth, as well as skill and leadership enhancement. The weekly community service for the youth is at the heart of the program.
The end objective is scholars with skills and experiences that enable them to become change agents in their communities. The components that make up this program are the Youth Education & Empowerment Scholarship Fund and Cultural and Business Enrichment.
1. The Youth Education Fund provides scholars with higher education or vocational training scholarships at quality universities or colleges. Community service promotes activism, while counseling sessions enhance reflective skills.
2. Cultural and Business Enrichment, mainly through the cultural ‘dardashat’ weekly sessions, develops skills in active listening, dialogue, discussion and debate in an environment that respects diversity. To further improve the students’ business related skills set, they receive entrepreneurial coaching and are provided with courses in the English language, IT, financial literacy and business ethics as well as internship opportunities both in-house and through a strong network of support from private sector corporations. Equally, the Ruwwad fellowship and youth-led initiatives promote youth activism and leadership.
Note: These areas are fully developed in Ruwwad Jordan and Lebanon; they are still in their early phase of formation in Palestine and Egypt.