Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the youth in the Arab region have continued their journey to becoming changemakers, leaders and a powerful force for development and change in their communities.

With more than 28,600 alumni and 80 partners in 18 countries since 2015, in 2021 UNDP's Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) launched its seventh edition to support youth to develop solutions to challenges in their communities and use their passion to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

YLP7 also paved the way for a new approach to support youth in the region.

"Harnessing the growing youth population and enabling young people to become agents for positive social, political, and economic change is a critical cross-cutting strategy for building forward and enhancing resilience to future shocks. It requires a whole-of-society approach that strengthens the social contract and widens participation and inclusion", said Linda Haddad, the UNDP Regional Youth Project Manager at the launch event of YLP7 on 24th May 2021.

Creating an enabling environment for youth through strong partnerships, supporting youth-friendly policies and regulations, building networks, and offering access to resources and capacity-building, increases young people's potential for creating impact. UNDP is looking forward to ensuring that young people's journey is supported at multiple levels through four pathways for youth in the Arab region to become entrepreneurs, community builders, policy shapers and job seekers. This broader approach is carried out together, with youth in the driver's seat, starting from 2021.

The theme of YLP7 was “Creating Change from Inside Out”, emphasizing the importance of wellbeing and mental health as building blocks for youth on their changemaker journey. The theme was reflected in the trainings delivered to youth during the year, as well as in regional events.

In 2021, YLP organized several regional events for youth, YLP alumni and partners across the Arab region.

- 1 March, live online session on mental health and demotivation as part of the “Hope campaign” with more than 150 participants

- 24 May, YLP7 Regional Launch Event “Creating Change from Inside Out”, with more than 450 online participants

- 26 May-2 June, YLP7 Regional Workshop for more than 140 YSO partner representatives & UNDP Country Office staff

- 12 August, International Youth Day online event “For People and Planet: Youth Transforming the Future” with more than 350 participants

- 28 October, live webinar “Digital Transformation: A New Era For Youth” with more than 100 participants

- 24-25 December, YLP7 Regional Youth Forum, with almost 300 participants from YLP7 participants, alumni and YSO partners

-16 December, International Volunteer Day event, with more than 150 participants

Through regional and national events and workshops, YLP community grew with thousands of new members in 2021. Coming together around the passion for making a difference and helping their communities, experts and youth alike are equal members of the YLP community. The community comes together across countries, cultures and languages around one mission: to unleash the potential of youth to be key players in the development of their communities, countries and the region.

 

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