Last month I had the privilege of representing the British Youth Council at the NET-MED ‘Creating the Future of the Mediterranean’ event held in Brussels. Networks of Mediterranean Youth (NET-MED Youth) is a project implemented by UNESCO and funded by the European Union. The project empowers young people from Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia to discuss and tackle issues faced in their regions, through influencing national decision-making and policy implementation in eastern and western Mediterranean countries.
The Building Futures event hosted NET-MED members members of European youth organizations and high-level officials from the European Commission and UNESCO. The day provided an opportunity to highlight success stories of young people across NET-MED youth and other youth organisations doing fantastic work in their regions to tackle a wide variety of issues. Hearing these stories was truly inspiring and during every contribution it was clear that young people and leaders all shared a vision for young people in the Mediterranean region. Some of the many issues discussed included conflict, democratic governance, youth unemployment and violent extremism. Many of these issues are not so dissimilar to issues young people in Europe are worried about.
I was invited to contribute to a panel on Youth disillusionment & new opportunities in which I talked about the work of the British Youth Council. During the panel discussion, I also highlighted and discussed the importance of projects like NET-Med youth in the Mediterranean region, as it provides young people with a sense of belonging through empowering them to influence decisions that effect their lives. We also explored ways of cooperation and mutual support within the region. Stay tuned for more updates on the topic!
For more information about NET-MED youth visit http://www.netmedyouth.org/.