In the framework of the youth civic and political engagement program, on the 21st and 22nd of July, the Youth team of ActionAid Arab Region (AAAR) organized and conducted the first capacity building and youth networking camp in Wadi Rum, in the southern part of Jordan.
The two-day-camp gathered 27 young participants in AAAR’s youth programming from all over Jordan. The participants came from Amman, Mafraq, Kerak, Jerash, Irbid and Balqaa. It was an occasion for them to meet, discuss, exchange ideas and network in an inspiring location, in the heart of the mighty Wadi Rum desert.
The camp’s program agenda was diverse and focused on interaction with the aim to enhance the youth’s engagement and networking, as well as fun activities that were planned by the organizers. The participants took part in a jeep tour and entertaining activities in the middle of fabulous desert, where they got to know more about each other and were exposed to the Jordanian heritage.
The camp included workshops under several thematic sessions, where young people discussed and exchanged ideas on the on topics of their interest, under the facilitation of the AAAR Youth Team. Throughout both days, participants were involved in fruitful discussions on the following topics:
- The impact of the youth program and lessons learned.
- What were the challenges and what is the way forward for the program?
- Challenges for youth in Jordan: unemployment, stereotypes, limitations, political involvement.
- Youth and unemployment: challenges, opportunities, discriminations, issues.
- Entrepreneurship and green economy as an opportunity for youth empowerment and combating the climate change.
Jeep tour in the heart of the Wadi Rum desert
At the end of the first day, a tour in the desert was organized. Local Bedouins from the camp drove the group around beautiful places in Wadi Rum. This activity strengthened the bonds between young people from the different places in Jordan. It was a great teambuilding activity for the youth program.
"I never thought that I would be out of my comfort zone and do such a Jeep tour in the desert. I will share this moment with my family and show them how I have changed thanks to the Youth program of ActionAid." Suad, Participant from Irbid’s Zawayi space.
The fruitful discussions about the Youth Program and its effect, as well as general issues impacting youth in Jordan as a whole, will be taken into consideration by the AAAR Youth Team for future activities, and for enhancing the quality of the program.
Since this year is the last year of the program, AAAR team investigated its impact on the youth in terms of their political and civic involvement, and the skills they have gained. It is also important to assess how important climate justice is for youth and how they will act with climate change in Jordan. Another topic of importance for the AAAR Youth Team is the youth hubs: What is the goal of the youth hubs? How will the youth act to sustain the youth hubs after AAAR leaves?
We will try to address all these important questions in the coming months. The camp in Wadi Rum will give our team a clearer idea about the role played by the Youth and Civic Engagement Program, about the way forward, and about what the main issues and topics to be addressed through future programs, activities, and initiatives will be.