Meshwary: A journey of growth and development

Khaled and Hadeer advocate for a better future in Egypt

Mostafa Taher
Meshwary: A journey of growth and development
UNICEF/Egypt 2022
05 August 2022

The Nile Delta is a special place. Among the rich green landscapes and flowing waters, there are many bustling cities, like Kafr El-sheikh. In recent years, many young people from Kafr el-Sheikh have joined Meshwary, a UNICEF-supported programme providing training, skill development and internships in several governorates.

In the border governorates, young people are especially vulnerable to drop out of school, which harms their prospects for the future. A programme like Meshwary can contribute to building employability and community resilience through skill development among adolescent and youth.

Meet Hadeer and Khaled. These two Meshwary Ambassadors from Kafr El-Sheikh were enrolled in the programme to improve their life and employability skills and have become actively engaged as Ambassadors. The programme enabled them to integrate with the local community where they are now cascading to other young people in their community to bring about the aspired change.

 

Khaled is a 19-year-old student at Kafr El-Sheikh university, who is finishing his last year of education major in Technology and has been working part time at his brother's shop to support his family.
UNICEF/Egypt 2022

Multitasker

Khaled is a 19-year-old student at Kafr El-Sheikh university, who is finishing his last year of education major in Technology and has been working part time at his brother's shop to support his family. He joined Meshwary a year ago as a member and then became an ambassador for the programme in his community. Khalid says: “The programme is great, it helped me a lot to learn new things and express my opinions more clearly. I am sure that I will apply what I have learned in the programme to my life. I am also so happy because now I’m able to communicate in public freely.”

“Some of the adolescent participants were bullying each other during my sessions. Meshwary taught me different techniques on how to stop it and make the them feel comfortable around each other”, Khaled added.

Being optimistic about the future.

Hadeer is a young girl, who is empowered by her parents to be a Meshwary advocate in her area of “Islah Shalma” village, Sidi Salem Center, in Kafr El-Sheikh. The area was particularly vulnerable to children's health and wellbeing problems due to difficult socio-economic conditions. Despite all these challenges, Hadeer is optimistic about the future. She committed to improve the lives of children, adolescents, and youth in her village through Meshwary sessions at the youth center which is just meters away from her home.

Hadeer is a young girl, who is empowered by her parents to be a Meshwary advocate in her area of “Islah Shalma” village, Sidi Salem Center, in Kafr El-Sheikh.
UNICEF/Egypt 2022

When Hadeer was younger, her parents encouraged her to become a productive member of the community. Her father owns a clothing store and taught his daughter how to sew clothes. This way, she could assist him, and one day, ensure the continuity of business.

"It's been great so far. I'm learning about leadership skills, time management, and how to be an independent person through Meshwary" said Hadeer. According to her, she owes everything to her parents as they helped her in facing challenges every step of the way. “If I am successful today it is because I have always had a supportive family, who never stopped believing in me” she added.

By youth, for youth

The programme design is dynamic, as young people themselves – the participants – play a role in shaping it. Meshwary is responsive to their specific needs and interests – it is their journey and their future. The programme aims at providing adolescents and youth with skills development and social opportunities to be socially and economically empowerment and become advocates of positive change within their communities, which in turn will result in reduced gender inequalities and less acceptance of harmful practices especially those affecting girls As well social cohesion and co-existence in host communities. "Meshwary" (“My Journey”) is a project supported by UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and funded by the Embassy of the NetherlandsSwiss Embassy and USAID in several governorates to train adolescents and youth to become more financially and socially empowered.