On the 27th of November 2017, a Strong Cities Network workshop in Amman brought together practitioners from the Prevention Networks in Zarqa, Karak and Irbid with youth participants for a session on the role of young people in fostering resilience in their communities. The event, which is part of a new regional policy model for youth engagement, provided a platform to feed the views of local youth to policy makers and engage in dialogue on effective youth engagement models.
The day kicked off with training sessions on best practice examples and principles on how to positively involve and engage young people in prevention, promoting peace and challenging division. Building on the previous two-day youth Innovation Lab (25th-26th of November), the sessions included a particular focus on the role of digital content and social media campaigns as tools for creating social change.
During the Innovation Lab, 30 participants from Zarqa and Karak, including activists and creatives, came together to work on social media campaigns addressing sources of grievances. The youth participants had an opportunity to present their campaign ideas and voice issues of concern to municipal officials.
The day concluded with group discussions between prevention network members and youth on the everyday challenges of youth, existing youth engagement models and recommendations for future projects and policies. In addition to allowing for an exchange in knowledge and outlooks, the discussion set the foundations for future collaboration on the local level.
“I’m happy that this discussion [between youth and municipal officials] is finally happening!”Youth participant
For many prevention networks attendees, a significant take-away of the day was gaining an appreciation of the importance of content development and delivery on social media as proactive alternatives for reaching youth and building resilience against conflict.
The event was part of an integrated YouthCAN and Strong Cities Network initiative with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The discussion made me think. Using drama to send messages is extremely important and why not use drama and performances even for religious education?” Member of Karak's Prevention Network