In much of the developing world, youth make up the majority of the population. It’s no wonder it's said that youth hold the key to the future.
Unfortunately, youth in the Middle East have borne the brunt of conflict and economic stagnation. In Gaza, for instance, over 60 percent of young people are unemployed—the highest rate of youth unemployment in the world. Syrian refugees in Lebanon have grown up amid war and displacement, and for many that has meant dropping out of school to support their families.
Anera has implemented a variety of youth-focused programs, ranging from basic literacy to job skills and even sports and handicrafts. These educational and recreational pursuits also help strengthen bonds to their host communities, soothe psychological trauma, and shape them into active members of society.
In honor of International Youth Day 2017, we highlight 10 youths doing what they can to better their futures. Youth building peace: it’s the way the world moves forward.
International Youth Day 2017: Youth Building Peace
Young Palestinian and Syrian refugees attend an accounting course in Al Sharq. The class is one of the many job skills training courses Anera is offering to refugee youth throughout Lebanon. With marketable skills like accounting and computer science, these youths will have greater chances at finding jobs.
Adnan, 18, has lived in El Buss camp near Tyre since his family fled Syria. Adnan's family are of Palestinian origin and had lived in Syria for generations as refugees. Now they join the thousands of "twice-refugees"—Palestinian-Syrians living in Lebanon.
In Bar Elias, chess class draws steady concentration from boys and girls. Anera's programs include education as well as athletic and other recreational pursuits, which aim to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged youth.
Joumana shows off the handicrafts she made in an early childhood development training course in Tripoli. At the end of the course, she and her classmates will graduate with certificates to boost their teaching careers.
Yara, 14, takes literacy and math classes in Bar Elias, Bekaa. Many refugee youth like Yara have missed out on school for over six years, since the Syrian war began. Some cannot read or write at all, and had never used computers.