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The Second Winter Arab Youth Seminar

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The seminar will address gender equality, civic education, intercultural dialogue, and volunteerism

Participants at one of IYDA activities Courtesy of IYDA Facebook Page

Participants at one of IYDA’s activities
Courtesy of IYDA’s Facebook Page

The International Youth Dialogue Association (IYDA) is hosting the second Winter Arab Youth Seminar (WAYS), which encourages youth civic engagement. The seminar was held last year in Cairo with forty participants from the MENA region.

This year, the seminar will be held in Alexandria in April. The IYDA will continue to receive applications untll 15March and they encourage young people of all ages to apply.

The International Youth Dialogue Association is a non-governmental organisation founded in 2009. “IYDA provides educational training and cultural services for youth in order to encourage fellowship among nations.

Our main mission is to promote peace and mutual understanding through international exchange programs for young people,” says their website. Their activities depend on volunteers.

This year they are addressing four different issues, firstly gender equality: “In this module IYDA will increase the awareness of women’s rights and point the values of political participation and the important role of women in society.” Secondly, civic education: “The participants from WAYS from different countries and backgrounds share ideas and experiences, design creative campaigns and learn how to accomplish goals in youth participation.

Inspiring speakers will join this module and debates and actions will automatically follow.” Thirdly, intercultural dialogue: “The participants will act as young ambassadors from their country and represent it to their neighbouring countries.

Cultural events and workshops in the 2nd Winter Arab Youth Seminar aim to understand previous and current conflicts and to build stronger relations between the countries.” Finally, volunteerism and social work: “[After the January 2011 revolution] we started to promote a spirit of volunteerism.This spirit is affected by members who are also active in other NGOs located around Egypt. The Fourth WAYS will be a platform of sharing experiences. How does volunteerism work in each country? How can we promote volunteerism? What skills do I need to start volunteering? For this we offer a platform of exchange and offer workshops to improve skills for leading volunteerism.”

The seminar’s activities will be conducted over the course of a week, from 21 April to 27 April. WAYS purpose is described on the IYDA website: “The seminar offers trainings to develop initiative and leadership skills for upcoming projects as well as to overcome prejudices and misunderstandings between the participants.”

Participants will be given short courses in different subjects: project management, social media as a tool for youth participation, women’s rights in Arab countries (past, present and future), leadership, international relations and networking, communication and soft skills, policy writing, politics in voluntary work, crisis management, and proposal writing.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to meet people from other cultures and expand their understanding of global issues.  In order to participate, applicants must be able to speak Arabic and English. They also encourage applicants with previous NGO experience. The organisation covers the accommodation and expenses and while the applicant has to book their own flight, IYDA will refund the cost of this later.


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