The Nawaya Network's Youth Mentorship Program connects disadvantaged youth with young professionals to help them pursue passions or skills that might otherwise go unnoticed.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Occasional sectarian street violence amongst youth in the Arab World threatens peace while crime and drug use appear on the rise. Many of the offenders are disadvantaged or at-risk youth. According to the UNDP, in Lebanon, youth unemployment is at 21%; in the Palestinian refugee camps it is as high as 60%, and drug use is rampant. With little opportunities for a brighter future, many either kill or steal to survive, join gangs, or become drugs addicts to escape reality.
How will this project solve this problem?
We believe that by enabling at-risk youth to pursue their passions, they will be less likely to engage in violence, crime, and drug-use. Matching mentors and youth with a common passion helps young people learn to connect with one another irrespective of their political, religious, ethnic, or socio-economic backgrounds. By having a positive role model in their lives, disadvantaged youth will learn to both value and respect themselves and their community.
Potential Long Term Impact
The project will enroll 30 youth in our Mentorship Program, allowing them to pursue passions or skills that will allow them to generate an income and lift them out of poverty. Enrolled youth are more likely to stay in school, pursue higher education, and refrain from drugs/crime. Generating a sector of highly qualified youth will fuel the local economy. We aim to reach 100 youth by the end of 2013. Currently based in Lebanon, we are looking to expand to the region as soon as resources permit.
Total Funding Received to Date: $17,263
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $17,737
Total Funding Goal: $35,000