In Jordan, WE Center has contributed to the project with dedication to the volunteers and the youth participating in the activities. The Ambassadors for Dialogue team in Jordan has managed to create a safe space for youth to express themselves without the fear of condemnation, and the project has helped youth to gain a better understanding of others and challenge prejudices.
Amal, who is part of the team of Ambassadors for Dialogue in Jordan, elaborates: “During the online training sessions, I felt comfortable and loved. I felt that I could be myself and did not feel the need to change who I am. I’ve been through a lot of different situations where people would mock me for my accent or make fun of me, which created barriers inside me. After the training session, I felt calmer and less angry”.
In Tunisia, the Les Scouts Tunisiens (LST) has managed to build up a strong and diverse group of volunteers. With the Ambassadors for Dialogue project, the LST has reached out to a diverse group of young people, representing many different minorities within the Tunisian society, who have found a safe space and a community through the project.
One of the ambassadors from Tunisia elaborates: “I didn’t think that my gender expression would fit within the scout organization, but I found out that I was really happy to stay, and I didn’t find any problems. I stayed in the project because I have a lot of friends, and because I felt like the project accepted me and made me feel self-worth”.
Under the Future Leaders project, 880 young Tunisians has been trained in advocacy and campaigning through Young Voices Forums, and more than 200 volunteers have been trained in establishing or strengthening local scout groups in Tunisia, which has resulted in establishment of 55 new scout groups in Tunisia.
Through the Future Leaders project, KFUM-Spejderne and Les Scouts Tunisiens (LST) have built up a strong and equal partnership and both organizations have strengthened their capacity through the partnership.
One of the staff members of LST says: “I’m proud of the way we have built up an equal partnership. Through the partnership, we have been able to reach out to people, we would otherwise not be able to reach. I’m proud of the relations and the dialogue that have been developed between youth across Denmark and Tunisia, but also among youth in Tunisia”.
The project has developed an impressive outreach in both Tunisia and Denmark. Geographically has project reached youth all over Tunisia, who have been empowered to engage in their communities, use their voices and act as active citizens. Likewise, has the project reached a broad range of Danish youth who have gained international perspective and knowledge on management of development projects.
DUFs engagement in the Middle East and North Africa
Since 2006, DUF has been engaged in youth-led projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, aiming to enhance youth participation and influence and contributing to promoting a democratic, stable, and prosperous MENA. The current intervention, the Youth Culture and Diversity project concretely builds on two longstanding engagements in the MENA region: the Ambassadors for Dialogue project and the Future Leaders project.
The Ambassadors for Dialogue project was established in 2009 as a reaction to the Muhammad cartoons controversy, with the objective of enhancing mutual understanding between youth across national, cultural, religious, ideological and other divides by means of dialogue. The project is based on a partnership between DUF, Les Scouts Tunisiens, WE Center in Jordan and DEDI in Egypt, and since the start have the partners developed, implemented, and refined a unique approach for youth to bridge differences and manage diversity through dialogue.
The Future Leaders project is a partnership between KFUM-Spejderne and Les Scouts Tunisiens (LST), which since 2007 has empowered young people to take lead on processes of social change in their communities. The partnership has been focusing on the organizational development of the Tunisian scout organization as a platform for the civil engagement of youth and on capacity build youth as democratic citizens.