Arab Governments commit to strengthening youth volunteerism

Feb 6, 2013

imageParticipants in the national consultation on youth volunteering in Morocco. (Photo: Laboratoire Brahim/UNV, 2012)

Cairo, Egypt
- The Governments of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen have endorsed a project agreement with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to facilitate youth volunteerism as a positive and sustainable mechanism for social change. Their endorsement follows a year-long process of national consultations with youth in the region and marks the transition to the implementation phase of the project.

“The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme welcomes the commitments of the Governments of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen to creating an enabling environment for youth volunteerism.  We look forward to working with other UN agencies, governments, and civil society organizations to achieve those goals.” said Mr. Richard Dictus, UNV Executive Coordinator

The project, entitled: “Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future”, aims to support the ability of youth to positively engage in and influence change in development processes.  As volunteers, young people can be positive agents of change within their communities, taking the lead in development and reconciliation and building trust and cooperation among generations and social groups.  In this way, volunteerism is a force for social inclusion and active citizenship.

Volunteerism also strengthens the skills and experience of young people, making them more equipped for civic and community life, as well as employment. This is critical in a region where youth unemployment is the highest in the world.  By providing opportunities for youth to volunteer in development and establishing proper policies and laws to protect volunteers while delivering services, the project has the potential to play a transformative role in the Arab region.

UNV is looking forward to working with partners throughout the region to implement the programme over the next three years. During this pilot phase, the project will be assessed and, if successful, rolled-out throughout the Arab region.

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