With the aim of empowering youth in rural areas, and in line with the Net-Med Youth project (UNESCO project funded by EU), UNESCO-Beirut, in collaboration with Aie Serve, conducted a series of trainings on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) to Lebanese and Syrian youths in three different governorates: North (Akkar), Beqaa (Kfarzabad) and South (Saida). The NGOs functioning in these areas participated in this initiative specifically in communicating the training information to youths in their communities, as based on the Arabic MIL booklet which was developed for this training project.
A total of 45 young women and men aged 18-25 years from these 3 rural areas of Lebanon have enhanced their skills in MIL, as part of this interactive workshop training series, based on this booklet which will be publicly disseminated in early 2017.
The overall training atmosphere was positive, due to the fact that it was targeting youth with trainers that were close to their age and able to communicate their message and content in a simple and interactive way. Trainees evaluations included comments such as “They loved the activities…The methodology was different than other trainings that they’ve attended…They enjoyed the day…They learned interesting and practical information…etc”. Trainers were satisfied by the results of the day, motivated by the initiative, and emphasized on elaborating possible ideas that the youth can implement or lead on in the future.
Such an initiative reaching out to youths in the rural areas are majorly empowering and motivating, giving hope to the new generation that is not able to benefit from the opportunities available in the cities. This project was rewarding to its implementers as much as its beneficiaries and it would be great to have it culminate in a youth forum and some events that could allow the participants to get more exposed and exchange ideas.