Mercy Corps resumes “RYSE” youth civic engagement activity in Za’atari Camp

Groups of young people and an instructor working at tables.

Early June, the government of Jordan started to gradually loosen restrictions on movements for the majority of sectors including recreational and sports centers, provided that health precautions are strictly followed by these centers and their visitors. Life began to resume as sector after sector were allowed to reopen.

With these long awaited loosening of restriction on movement and permission for assembly, Mercy Corps was able to resume the implementation of the ‘Resilient Youth Socially and Economically’ Project activities in the Za’atari Refugee Camp. One major activity that started is providing Cycle One of the structured training to eight female and eight male youth leaders aged 18 to 24 from the Za’atari Camp community on transformative leadership. The training covered topics like active listening, team work, critical thinking and problem solving, decision making and consensus building.

In addition, the transformative civic skills activity incorporates practical training on conducting community needs assessment, organizing for community initiatives and providing civic skills activities through sport and arts to target youth groups. The project will seek to provide the same training to a total of 36 female and male youth leaders through a one-year duration starting July 2021.

It is worth noting that in order to be qualified to deliver the manual, youth leaders completed Mercy Corps’ three day training on Profound Stress and Attunement.

Upon the completion of the youth leaders training, the youth leaders will lead the civic engagement skills training to the recruited 120 youth aged 12 - 16 in the camp. The aim of this activity is to empower youth to become positive change agents in their communities through enhanced skills and meaningful opportunities for civic engagement.

Young people at working at individual tables.

Mercy Corps, under RYSE project, seeks to reach out to a total of 1,000 female and male youth people aged 12 - 16 towards the end of this year while ensuring that youth with disabilities are actively targeted with at least 5% participation.

The civic skills engagement activity is equipping youth with the necessary skills to undertake a community needs assessment, as well as with initiatives planning skills to design, plan and implement a community initiative. The youth-led community needs assessment will contribute to increased understanding of community priorities, where youth will have strengthened transformative civic skills through arts and sports-based activities and are empowered to advocate for and address key issues affecting them in their communities and schools in Za’atari Camp.

The RYSE project adopts a pioneering model to activate the role of youth, governments and private sector companies, whereby investors and civil society organizations educate and empower youth to become positive change agents and leaders within their communities. This project works to empower youth through three main components: The first component provides life skills, training, and pathways for youth to become leaders working in civil society. The second component provides a comprehensive approach to help young people obtain the training and support needed to achieve sustainable livelihoods. Finally, the third component deals with formal societal structures that prevent youth from actively participating in civil society and the labor market.

The RYSE (Resilient Youth, Socially & Economically) project is a flagship multi-stakeholder partnership counting Jordan River Foundation, Generations for Peace, Mercy Corps, INJAZ, and DRC (Danish Refugee Council) as lead agency. The Novo Nordisk Foundation is the grant holder. RYSE engages 25,000 Syrian refugees and vulnerable young Jordanians affected by the Syrian crisis. From 2020 through 2022 RYSE aims to build resilient futures.

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