The YALLA Program and First Steps
The Youth Action Local Leaders Alliance (YALLA) is a new and exciting youth-led civic engagement program that aims to provide university-aged youth with the opportunity to head a civic engagement program in Nablus. With support from the US State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the YALLA program is already off to a great start!
We currently have an advisory committee consisting of Dr. Jawad Fatayer of An-Najah National University, Mr. Ayman Abu Ghazala, General Director of Al Hajj Taher Al-Masri Company, and myself, working hard on this exciting new project. We've met just recently to establish criteria in selecting and recruiting students for the Youth Leadership Committee (YLC). The YLC will consist of 8 university students from all over Nablus, selected through an open and competitive application process.
Earlier this week we began working to create fliers about the YALLA program and the YLC to distribute in the universities and throughout communities. Once the applications for the YLC are in, the Advisory Committee will narrow down the applicants selecting the strongest 8 applicants. These 8 students will undergo a thorough 50 hours of training, learning about leadership, time management, teamwork, media and outreach.
The Youth Leadership Committee will be advocates for the YALLA program, publicizing the program to youth aged 12-21 from all sectors of Nablus, community organizations and youth groups, mentoring applicants during the application process, and evaluating the applications according to criteria established by YLC members under the guidance of the Advisory Committee. Finally, YLC will select 3 initiatives to be funded, and devise implementation, monitoring and evaluation plans for each, engaging applicants and other TYO volunteers throughout the process.
We can't wait to see what Nablus' bright youth come up with! Stay with us in the coming weeks to see how YALLA unfolds.
Ahmad Hanini is the Volunteer Coordinator and is a member of YALLA's Advisory Committee.