Delegation of the European Union to Albania

Youth RESOLVE: Youth Empowerment, Participation, and Advocacy for Social Stability in Lebanon (Phase 2)

03/11/2020 - 15:11
Multisector

The project aims at empowering youth and supporting their participation in local governance, decision-making processes and social stability.

Human Rights Youth Resolve

 

Budget: € 7 million
Location: Lebanon
Date of project: 2020 - 2023
Implementing Partner: World Vision Deutschland

Children, adolescents and youth in Lebanon face a multitude of interrelated challenges and barriers which prevent meaningful social, community and civic engagement.

Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian youth therefore often feel disconnected from their communities. The increasing socio-economic hardship, protracted displacement, social tensions and “the violence of exclusion” expose many youth to the risk of turning to negative coping strategies. Deprived of meaningful perspectives for their future, many youth and children face risks such as child or forced marriage, child labour, human trafficking, radicalization, sexual and gender-based violence, recruitment into armed conflict, work in the illegal sector or forced and irregular migration. These harmful perspectives not only risk affecting them personally, but also tend to negatively influence perceptions of youth – and especially young refugees - by their communities. Such stereotypes and stigma are only adding more pressure to an already tense situation created by the dire economy and rising unemployment.

Moreover, youth are often perceived as a burden within their communities and society which hinders any possible access to decision-making mechanisms at a local and national level. The situation for young Syrians is even more challenging due to their legal and social status in Lebanon. The country faces an increasing risk of losing a generation of vulnerable Lebanese youth and young Syrians to despair, poverty, exclusion, social conflict, and extremism.

However, young people across the country are starting to informally organise themselves through think-tanks, NGOs and civil organizations to engage in political and social discussions. A move towards ‘active and responsible citizenship’ is starting to emerge and has strengthened since the start of the uprising and demonstrations in mid-October 2019, and the political and socio-economic crisis which unfolded. One of the issues raised by the Lebanese youth is the need to become more actively engaged in decision-making.

Building on a first intervention and lessons learnt from that first phase, this second phase of the programme “Youth RESOLVE” aims to support youth in their increased participation on local governance, decision-making processes and social stability, mainly through the support to the Youth Committees established within the project.

 

  • Strengthen youth resilience and empower them as leading actors in their communities
  • Facilitate social stability between local population and refugee communities through youth empowerment, aiming at the local development of communities

 

  • 700 youth in 27 communities across Lebanon
  • 151,000 community members (including children and people with disabilities)

 

  • Engage with the local government to establish local Youth Committees
  • Conduct mapping of stakeholders in targeted areas
  • Select youth leaders and train them as street sports instructors and community leaders, with trainings tackling entrepreneurship, active citizenship, social peace and conflict sensitivity, negotiation, networking, leadership skills, digital skills, etc.
  • Create partnerships with local governments to work together on refurbishing public spaces for sports and culture
  • Conduct youth-led community needs assessments to identify the needs and opportunities of the area and reduce tensions between local communities and refugees
  • Select and implement community initiatives (Quick Impact Projects) with the communities
  • Implement campaigns and events to engage with communities, celebrate youth-led initiatives and ensure community ownership over the initiatives
  • Conduct community sports and culture activities for local and refugee communities  
  • Deliver Youth Committee trainings on advocacy, local governance and the use of social media for advocacy
  • Identify priority advocacy issues, for children, youths and community members
  • Introduce local level advocacy plans developed and implemented by youth committees to influence local stakeholders in order to address issues identified in the needs assessments
  • Establish a National Youth Platform and develop a national level Youth Advocacy Plan based on analysis
  • Implement national level advocacy events or campaigns and advocacy meetings with key national decision makers and stakeholders
  • Exchange experiences, best practices and challenges among the different Youth Committees

 

  • Youth are equipped with the knowledge, capacity and skills to build positive relationships among each other.
  • Local and refugee communities have positive interactions through youth lead community-based activities.
  • Social stability is strengthened among local communities and refugees.
  • Youth engage in local advocacy to address identified issues that affect children, youth and the community.
  • Reinforced local governance by fostering the active participation of youth in needs assessments for their communities.
  • Youth have improved access to national forums to influence change and participate in decision making that positively affects the community’s well-being.
  • Lebanese and refugee youth advocate for changes at community, municipality and governmental levels.
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