Following historic events in the region, Arab societies are facing common challenges related to building democratic and pluralistic communities and promoting public voice. Between February and May 2011, the British Council and Anna Lindh Foundation carried out respectively local needs assessment initiatives with young people in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia from diverse social and political backgrounds. These exercises identified three key needs for young people in terms of supporting freedom of expression:
-To increase young people’s skills for public debate
-To provide platforms for youth from diverse backgrounds to meet and exchange views
-To provide targeted support for young bloggers in terms of outreach work at the grass-root level, enabling them to bridging the gap between virtual and public space
The British Council and the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) combined their networks, tools and expertise to increase and support opportunities for young people in the Arab region to debate and exchange, and participate in the process of democratic transition.
The programme is characterised by the high quality training of skills for informed debate, the capacity for outreach and mobilization to rural and urban areas, and the regional exchange dimension among participants, debate facilitators and civil society partners via online media and encounters
The British Council has successfully completed phase one of the YAV programme in cooperation with the partner universities with the support of the universities’ Presidents. All the participant students have showed great enthusiasm for YAV and great potential that ensures the programme sustainability.
The plan of phase two includes various activities on the regional and international basis which will give students an opportunity to get exposed to different cultures and diversities thus improving their knowledge and increasing their learning curve.
Under a partnership between the British Council and Al-Sawy Cultural Wheel, a series of High Impact Debate will take place at Al-Sawy premises on monthly basis