Youth Activism for Lebanese Accountability (YALA!)
The National Wellness Network (NWN), established by MUBS, in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is implementing Youth Activism for Lebanese Accountability (YALA!) program to empower youth in rural areas of Lebanon, specifically the Hasbaya-Rashaya region, enabling them to play an active role in local governance and community development. This year’s two groups are TEACH and YMDA, and each group has developed a specific vision in this field. MTV’s Sarelwa2et program will highlight the work and efforts of both teams to showcase their progress and their impact on the local and wider community.
“TEACH” is a campaign that is working towards a policy that will include mandatory training sessions for teachers to enhance education through enhancing teachers' skills. This in turn would help students and develop them into active learners with a growth mindset to embrace challenges and build a stronger society.
YMDA (Youth in Municipalities, Democracy in Action) campaign aims at creating a policy to include youth councils in municipalities to encourage youth to be active parties and decision-makers in their communities.
The groups participated in the training session of the YALA! program presented by Mrs. Rachel Mims and Ms. Cristina Voronina, who shared their knowledge and experience in advocacy with the participants. Mrs. Rachel Mims shared her knowledge about advocacy and its different types. She gave examples on the different topics it can hold and explained a strategy to follow so we can reach the best results. Mrs. Mims discussed how to engage other citizens, how to navigate local decision-making processes and how to build norms of government accountability and responsiveness. She also shed light on the skills related to policy advocacy, conducting research, policy debates, and media communication.
Ms. Cristina Voroneanu talked about how the people of Kosovo fought their way through to make the local municipality respond to the public transportation problem the community was facing. The story was relatable to the participants, knowing that the problems and obstacles the people faced there on their way to change could happen here and now in Lebanon. It was inspiring to learn how the perseverance of the people and their belief in themselves and their rights led them to continue the fight and prompt real changes to happen. Participants had then the chance to address their questions and share their thoughts on this engaging and rich conversation.