Libya

Promoting Leadership and Activism of Youth (PLAY) for Peace in Libya

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2020-2022 - $1.5 million - Implemented by the International Rescue Committee, Inc. (IRC)

USAID's Promoting Leadership and Activism of Youth (PLAY) for Peace in Libya (or "PLAY for Peace") activity aims to increase youth participation in reconciliation efforts by providing safe spaces for dialogue and skills development, and opportunities for youth to engage with their communities. The two-year program seeks to reduce the likelihood of violence in Misrata, Tawergha, and Bani Walid in Western Libya by strengthening youth-to-youth relationships and promoting civic participation.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

PLAY for Peace will provide youths in the three cities with the safe spaces, and the skills needed, to foster positive relationships and collaborative attitudes to peacebuilding within and between their communities. These activities will also help to promote reconciliation efforts amongst youth and their communities.

PLAY for Peace also encourages institutional change by fostering youth civic participation and greater collaboration with their respective municipal councils, and through localized reconciliation efforts specific to the context and dynamic of each community. Implementation of the program is being conducted in close partnership with the Libyan branch of non-governmental organization Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) an international network of over 500 non-profit organizations and governmental institutions, whose members includes thousands of young people working to empower youth around the world.

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

  • Establish youth groups for participants aged 18-24 years old in Misrata, Tawergha, and Bani Walid to develop peace projects and awareness campaigns;

  • Deliver life skills trainings on personal growth through leadership, trust, self-confidence, and changing inter-personal behaviors regarding discrimination and violence between groups;

  • Broadcast positive messages to counter hate speech and promote the role of youth in peace and reconciliation efforts to the wider public through radio shows, podcasts, live stream videos, and social media platforms; and

  • Engage with local communities through community events to showcase disseminate positive messages of cohesion, and encourage civic engagement within and between cities; and

  • Work with youth leaders, civil society organizations, and municipal councils to develop a youth engagement strategy and a 'Voice of Youth' campaign.

PROGRAM ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Created youth groups in each of the three cities, with a total of over 50 young leaders, and provided introductory training to the youth on teamwork and problem solving skills, as well as technical knowledge on topics such as peer-to-peer education, conflict sensitivity and civic engagement.

  • Provided Conflict Mediation training to each youth group, focusing on conflict management and conflict analysis skills, the role of women and youth in conflict management, and identifying different types of conflicts and responses.

  • Provided Advanced Trainings for Trainers on leadership and conflict sensitivity to the three groups, with the aim of it cascading to other youths in all three cities. These trainings will help improve the capacity of youths to positively engage with one another as they develop their events and projects.

  • Launched the 'Cucina' podcast in April to discuss issues close to the heart of Libyan youth, such as youth empowerment in local peace processes, equal opportunities for young women, and the importance of youth engagement in civil society.

  • Supported youth groups as they launched several community projects, such as debate sessions about the role of youth in peacebuilding, youth leadership, unemployment and hate speech, as well as a panel discussion about bullying on social media, and a radio segment about the importance of civic engagement.

  • Held a Strategic Municipal Planning workshop to strengthen the capacity of municipalities to actively lead, empower women and youth, and become agents of change in their communities in the three cities.

CONTACT INFORMATION

International Rescue Committee, Inc.

Tunisia: Rue De L'Argent, Tunis; Libya: Benghazi Street, Misrata, +216 95 574 118

IRC Libya Country Director: Thomas.Garofalo@rescue.org