Posted on April 30, 2017

Doha-based EcoMENA has been recognised in a global competition designed to generate ideas for youth empowerment and create positive social impact. 

The ‘MiSK NGO Award for Innovation in Youth Empowerment’, organized by the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK), will be presented as part of the UNESCO NGO Global Forum taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 3-4 May, 2017. Hosted by MiSK, the Forum will see more than 400 NGOs from around the world gather together for two days of discussion, learning and brainstorming on how civil society can accelerate youth empowerment to create positive social impact. In addition to EcoMENA, there will also be a number of Qatari representatives at the forum.

The competition received over 70 entries from NGOs around the world, and 5 finalists will now have the opportunity to win a $30,000 prize fund to be used as seed capital that will put the winning project into practice to help young people effect positive social change. EcoMENA’s idea was for a dedicated resource portal for high-quality and credible content on the environment, renewable energy, waste management, green buildings, energy efficiency, sustainability and conservation. The portal, it hopes, will provide the region’s youth with credible information as they look to address these issues with plausible solutions. And in order to do so, it has assembled a team of 150 volunteers from around the region to lend their expertise to the project.

Commenting ahead of the forum, Bader Alasaker, MiSK Secretary General, said: “With over 1,600 delegates from around the world attending, we know that they will bring boundless passion and expertise to keep the sessions at the forum focused on achieving practical, effective outcomes which empower youth. “Governments can legislate and regulate but it is imperative that civil society and NGOs effect change.  This event shows that there is a strong desire for people to want to make a difference, and it is our hope that the ideas borne out of the competition bear tangible fruit in the near future.” 

The NGOs and delegates present at the conference will be joined by a host of renowned speakers – including Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, as well as nine-time Olympic Gold medallist Carl Lewis. Speakers and delegates will be leading a number of workshops and sessions that aim to tackle issues such as sustainability, culture and technology. The MiSK Foundation was founded by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman with a mission to empower, nurture and inspire Saudi Arabia’s youth to become active participants in the global economy. It is a non-profit organisation which works to develop a knowledge-based economy by promoting practical schemes to support young people in developing the right entrepreneurial and cognitive skills.