Youth Parliament in Asyut

Innovative initiatives by young people at a UNICEF-supported youth centre

Dalia Younis
Innovative initiatives by young people at a UNICEF-supported youth centre
UNICEF/Egypt 2021/Ahmed Mostafa
09 December 2021

Children in white coats holding up banners with awareness messages, teenagers making videos to support home isolation patients, and a young girl among the few educated in her village educates mothers.

These were among some innovative initiatives of a group of young people who met at the Al-Salam Youth Center in Manflout, Asyut governorate, as part of the Youth Parliament initiative.

Under the slogan "Our Role", the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in partnership with UNICEF and the support of the Arab Council for Childhood and Development, launched the 'Youth Parliaments' program to train young people between 13-19 years on planning and implementing community initiatives.

Within the framework of this program, young people learn how to identify problems, think of solutions and plan their implementation. In youth centers, trainers support young people through periodic meetings to communicate and discuss the challenges they face in implementing initiatives, while tracking and monitoring their progress.

So what's the story of each? That's to explore in this photo essay.

 

Innovative initiatives by young people at a UNICEF-supported youth centre
UNICEF/Egypt/2021/Ahmed Mostafa
The program aims to implement about 300 community initiatives (20 initiatives for each governorate). It includes three main pillars: empowering girls, citizenship, and supporting refugees and migrants.
Innovative initiatives by young people at a UNICEF-supported youth centre
UNICEF/Egypt 2021/Ahmed Mostafa
Adham Yasser, 14, took an initiative called "Your Health is Worth Everything". He says: "We got big signs and wrote on them in a big font so that people would read it easily. We wore white coats to draw people's attention to us when we went down the street of Manfalout to talk to them about COVID-19." In addition to awareness, Yasser and his friends also distributed free masks to passers-by and encouraged them on physical distancing.
Innovative initiatives by young people at a UNICEF-supported youth centre
UNICEF/Egypt 2021/Ahmed Mostafa
Fatma Khedr, 20, took an initiative called "Our Mothers are Our Protection" to educate mothers in her village of Bani Rafi on caring for their children during the pandemic. Fatma had already an audience network from the literacy class she was giving at the village before the initiative. She says: "There are not many educated girls and women in my village, I insisted that I learn and break the barriers against what I wanted. Now, when I walk down the street, women greet me and the girls tell me they want to be like me."
Innovative initiatives by young people at a UNICEF-supported youth centre
UNICEF/Egypt/2021/Ahmed Mostafa
These young men took an initiative called "Your Care Matters, My Friend" to provide psychological support to home isolation patients. Mustafa Mahmoud, 17, says that they used simple tools to make videos that provide psychological support to patients, also: "When we knew that somebody got sick we checked on him via video calls and whatsapp." Abdalla Sherif, 17 years, says about his contribution to the initative: "We wanted to convey a message to patients that they were not alone, and this initiative made me feel how serious COVID-19 is after I was flouting it like many guys my age."