Acknowledging the important role and responsibility of youth in developing their country, The Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) in the American University of Beirut (AUB), in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the British Council in Lebanon joined their efforts over the two past years to support youth policies in Lebanon. The project was concluded by a closing event “Youth where to from here?” on October 30, 2018.
Held at Camille Chamoun Sport City, the event featured live and interactive discussions with youth and decision makers, as well as the announcement of the project’ main achievements. The event kicked off by a youth talk video “What do young people want to tell us?” followed by opening remarks by Mr. Rein Nieland from the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, and Mr. Zeid Khyami, Director General of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, who highlighted the essential role of youth in improving the quality of life in their communities.
“This project aims to enable the Ministry of Youth and Sports to interact with the youth and get to know the youth priorities and ambitions”, stated Aline Germani, Director of CPHP at FHS. “It’s about how to involve youth in decision making, and their responsibility of being active citizens through following up on these policies, applying and monitoring them, and questioning and supporting the government in the implementation and progress of these policies.”
Young speakers then took the stage and shared stories of their advocacy campaigns held as part of the project. They highlighted the challenges, opportunities, lessons learned as well as their recommendations to play a more engaging role in their society. Following that, attendees watched a video about the #PoliYouth project, its contribution to the National youth Policy, youth expectations regarding this policy, and the achievements attained through the project. The floor was then opened for discussions with senior representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Youth forum, Youth Parliamentary Committee, European Union, and UNICEF. The event was concluded by discussing the future steps that should be taken to further support youth development in Lebanon.
The PoliYouth project was launched back in July 2016, it is fully funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council in collaboration with AUB. The 24-month project provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Youth Forum todd advance youth issues and needs in Lebanon via the implementation of the National Youth Policy. The main objectives of the project were to: (i) enhance the organizational and institutional capacities of both the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Youth Forum; (ii) equip youth stakeholder with the necessary tools, mechanisms and strategies for advocacy and outreach around National Youth Policy Issues; (iii) develop a model of governance and accountability between youth stakeholders and the government.