Posted on November 22, 2019

Education Above All Foundation (EAA) once again brought the hopes and dreams of youth alive with the opening today of the 3rd MENA Youth Capacity building in Humanitarian Action (MYCHA) training, now underway at the Qatar National Convention Center from Thursday 21 until Sunday 24th of November. The event is being held with the strategic partnership of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD).

The four-day training is expected to serve as a springboard of ideas on humanitarian action by some of MENA’s most vocal and passionate stakeholders in the region, in terms of methodology, practicality and it’s scientific approach. The MCYHA training is organized by EAA’s program, Reach Out to Asia (ROTA).

The inaugural got underway with a keynote speech by H.E Mr. Khalifa Al Kuwari, QFFD Director General, who called on the participants to assume their rightful role in community development and community rebuilding in a changing world. This was followed by another Keynote speech by Mrs Wejdan, MYCHA participants representatives, addresses ROTA’s youth, local and international partners. Then, an opening panel discussion will follow and sessions that will continue over the next few days and provide an understanding of the international humanitarian system and its stakeholders, the value of youth engagement in humanitarian action, disaster management and response, and more relative topics.

Among the more notable attendees joining this year are: Mr. Simon O’Connell, Executive Director, Mercy Corps, Ms. Lindsay Groves, Vice President for Global Partnerships, Right To Play, Ms. Maria Agnese Giordano, UNICEF, Global Education Cluster Coordinator, and Ms. Emma Donnelly, Middle East & North Africa Head (DFID) and Mr. Fahad Jassim Al Dehaimi, Development Projects Researcher (QFFD). Their presence is hoped to be instrumental in inspiring the young participants to believe in their mission of supporting their communities.

The training is being attended by 69 local and 100 international participants from the Middle East and North Africa region, representing 14 countries, consisting of youth advocates, humanitarian organizations, and other experts in the field who shared their experiences and best practices. This four days training program will be delivered by 20 international and local trainers. It offers to participants’ practical hands-on knowledge that can immediately be applied by youth in their respective communities. Participants will receive ongoing support and mentorship by their Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for six months to help them deliver this year’s planned Youth-led Humanitarian Action projects.

According to the organizers, the training serves to empower youth in humanitarian settings throughout the MENA region to assure their meaningful participation in preparedness, response and conflict resolution in different situations and contexts. The MYCHA training is in line with EAA’s broader mission of providing and protecting the right to quality education, and to promote it as a key aspect of humanitarian intervention in countries in crisis. On this occasion, Mrs. Arwa Musaaed, International Program Manager, ROTA Programme said: “For the third year in a row, we have convened dozens of change agents from around the MENA region to share their ideas and solutions – from understanding crisis and setting up support networks, to best practices for humanitarian action and stewardship, to rebuilding communities and more. Their involvement genuinely reflects a passion to help others.”

On his part, Mr. Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kuwari. Director General of Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), said: “Youth are our future leaders and bring their unique perspective in addressing humanitarian crises. Through the MYCHA training program, we aim to train the participants to become better informed and responsible future civic leaders, who are able to solve many of the problems facing their world today.” This year, like the last, MYCHA 2019 is being organized thanks to EAA’s strategic partner QFFD, which fosters several actors working in the area of development. The partnership between QFFD and EAA has grown leaps and bounds over the years, joined by their shared vision of community development.

Commenting on the event, Mr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Asiri, QFFD Manager of Country Programs, said: “The MYCHA initiative is aligned with our goal to achieve an inclusive and sustainable society, by addressing priority areas of education, health and economic empowerment. We are glad that our sponsorship of the program serves as an important platform for youth from our region as they turn a page on the past and embark on the journey of positive change.” He added: “Our partnership with EAA goes a long way. Education is key to human development – a binding thread and a mutual belief shared by both EAA and QFFD.”

QFFD is a public development institution committed, on behalf of the State of Qatar, to improving the livelihood of communities around the world by empowering populations through the promotion of education, healthcare, social services, infrastructure and economic development. Also, Mr. Saleem Alsaadani, a member of MYCHA Youth Advisory Group – MYAG, said: “I look forward to learning from an incredible cohort of fellow young leaders, whose ideas are definitely going to help me drive change and help uplift and empower my community. The diversity of background and perspective at this week’s Training program and the excellent support of the organizers reminds me constantly that when young people have a seat at the table, there is nothing that they can’t achieve.”

The MYCHA training program is organized in association with EAA’s international and local partners, including United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI), Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), Osman Consulting, Humanitrian Acadmy for Development (HAD), International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Mercy Corps and Save Youth Future Society (SYFS). The organizers are proud to count Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) and Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College (RLESC) as the sponsors.

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