Building Bridges for Youth Action
This report provides a narrative of ActionAid Denmark’s Middle East/North Africa (MENA) regional youth program. A snap shot of how we work, how we think and our achievements to date. We wish to show how we build on young people’s potentials to nurture social wealth. How we mobilize young people from MENA and Denmark on jointly engaging in creating positive social change, how we work with youth and women organizations, strengthening their work and their role as drivers of this change and how we promote accountability among local and national decision-makers, making it possible for young women and men to realize these ambitions.
We call our program “Building Bridges for Youth Action”. And that’s what we do. We build bridges for youth to realize their potentials. We build bridges between young people from MENA and Denmark and between youth across MENA. Bridges working to set free the potentials of a prosperous generation of young women and men, bridges working to nurture active and equal involvement of young women, bridges linking youth activism across distances in kilometers and culture and bridges fostering tolerance and solidarity. Moving in new and alternative directions we support young women and men in doing the same. Together we challenge and overcome a number of barriers for active youth engagement in civil society and local decision-making across MENA and barriers for reciprocal tolerance and understanding between young people from MENA and Denmark.
The recent movement in the region has mobilized a large number of young people who now believe in themselves, feel proud and are eager to take action. There is a great energy to build on, but new tools are needed to take it a step further. Work on civic education and engagement as well as awarenessraising, is indeed still relevant for these young people to develop the organizational, strategizing and campaigning skills needed to be able to affect crucial policy development processes and contribute to building and designing a different present and future.
This generation of young women and men constitutes a huge asset to a region that is prosperous, but not always aware of that. They represent a pool of resources, ready to take action and work hard for social change, if provided with the right support and the right arenas for action and engagement. A generation, ready to do things differently and challenge the general passive attitude entrenched in their upraising and behavior, if provided with the right tools to do it.