Euro-Mediterranean Youth INVENTORY of ACTORS Middle East and North Africa

This Inventory is focused on identifying organisations that work with young people in Middle East and North African (MENA) region as well as the resources that they produce. The objective of the inventory is to catalogue the various youth organisations in the region as well as their projects, outputs and published resources in order to see the extent of community and social cohesion activities in relation to the benefit of young people and the region specific issues that they face. The United Nations definition of MENA region include the following countries; Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territory (referring to Arab populations living in Gaza and the West Bank), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. These countries are the focus of this inventory. The main languages spoken are Arabic, French, English and Hebrew in Israel. It is unsurprising that there are many projects and organisations working for the benefit of young people in the MENA region considering the fact that the majority of the population are under the age of 25. What is also immediately obvious by looking at the theme of the projects, there is a stark contrast to the types of youth programmes being undertaken in the Europe. For example in countries like Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Israel, the main focuses of youth projects is on mediation and conflict resolution. The reasons for this are the political shifts in the region, war and humanitarian crises that have been affecting the region for the last decade. The inventory has been split into two distinct sections. The first section contains the details of projects and project-related web resources from international organisations that operate in MENA countries. This information has been formulated into tables which clearly indicate the organisation, the various countries in which they operate; names and general descriptions of regional projects; this is usually followed, where possible, by a document that has been produced as a result of the programme, i.e. Press Release, Evaluation or a Report, which contain more information. Further to this web-links to both the home page of the organisation as well as to the individual, relevant, project pages are included. With regards to the documents, the majority of materials contained within this inventory are in English, however where possible, efforts have been made to include materials in the common languages of MENA countries and also include multi-language reports and multiple versions of reports across all languages (i.e. Arabic, French and English) in instances where they are available. The second section of this inventory takes a regional approach to thematic grouping of youth organisations. These organisations are either national or they operate on a local grass roots level and the work that they do is directly relevant to the social, socio- economic and socio-political issues faced by young people in the specific locality. An example of this is the Sharek Youth Forum in Palestine that works with young Palestinians facing discrimination in Gaza and the West Bank. The structure of grouping sets out the geographic location of the organisations (country of base), their name and web-link and their overarching aim, followed by youth relevant projects with a general description of the organisation and links to specific project pages and documents. The majority of the organisations tend to be small with limited resources. This means that their capacity to create resources and documents in relation to their projects is also limited; however Page | 4 where reports have been found, they are listed below the corresponding project. Also in some cases there was lack of resources available online, particularly from countries such as Algeria and Yemen. This can be attributed to the very limited internet access and illiteracy due to political instability and poverty. There appears to be a very few local grassroots programmes and many organisations that were found had some link with larger supranational or governmental bodies. Again this can be attributed to political and economic factors. Whilst enquiring into the details of some grassroots organisations, it was often the case that they have no digital presence, but their names appeared in the evaluation efforts of larger organisations.

EMBARGOED 00:01 TUESDAY 8 MARCH 2022 

We are Sculpt

IARS International Institute to operate as Sculpt

*Charity CEO available for interview – details in notes 

A UK-based youth charity today changes its operating name from the IARS International Institute to Sculpt. 

IARS is an international NGO that’s been working to empower young people to forge a fairer society for over 20 years. Their work is guided and evaluated by young people themselves.  

Over the last 20 years, IARS has delivered more than 70 successful projects that have addressed real problems that young people face, in areas such as: 

  • Gender discrimination 
  • Violence against women and girls 
  • Supporting young people to find work 
  • Creating green and sustainable business 
  • Promoting collaboration among young people across the world and much more. 

In 2021, with the world changing rapidly and opportunities for their work shifting, they decided to refresh their purpose and identity, and made the decision to rebrand as Sculpt. 

Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of Sculpt, said: 

‘We are delighted to launch our new brand that speaks to our aim to empower young people to shape their future.

‘We believe that many of today’s young people are facing unjust challenges – economically, environmentally and socially. A fair, sustainable society can only evolve if all young people have the opportunities, the confidence, the ambition and the skills to make their voices heard and propel change in their communities, irrespective of who they are or where they come from.  

‘Our rebrand, like our work, has been guided by research and by young people themselves. As an organisation we base our work on rigorously researched evidence and are led in our approach by our youth advisory board. Their voices and insight are critical to solving the right problems in meaningful ways.’  

 

Notes to editors:  

Dr. Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of The IARS International Institute is available for interview. Contact Claire directly on: director@iars.org.uk +44(0) 7833 224442  

Sculpt

www.sculptuk.org 

Sculpt is a UK-based charity providing research, training and work-experience opportunities that empower young people to shape their own futures and those of their communities. 

We work directly with young people, employers and professionals who support young people. All our work is guided by young people themselves and based on carefully researched evidence. We: 

  • Facilitate forums for young people to make their needs and their voices heard. 
  • Publish a magazine by young people to express their perspectives and encourage debate around public policy issues. 
  • Conduct research to uncover young people’s real needs and what works to empower and support them. 
  • Deliver training to build young people’s confidence, skills, ambition, resilience and sense of responsibility, so they can shape their futures and change their communities for the better, as leaders, social entrepreneurs and active participants in civic life. 
  • Deliver training for professionals who work with young people, drawing on our research and expertise. 
  • Engage with employers to facilitate work experience and employment opportunities for young people to develop skills and access diverse jobs. 
  • Facilitate international exchange opportunities to encourage and enable young people to experience and appreciate other cultures, perspectives and ways of life. 

We tackle disempowerment from three angles: working directly with young people to build confidence and skills and their voice, working with professionals who support young people, and working with employers to break down barriers to opportunity.