M'Saken and Medenine Youth Councils gather to share ideas, experiences and lessons learnt
The local Youth Councils of M'Saken and Medenine met on September 25th and 26th in Sousse for a youth exchange organized by UNDP Tunisia and MedCities.
In a global effort to shape an inclusive and participative democracy, several municipalities throughout Tunisia are implementing local youth projects among which the Municipalities of Medenine and M'Saken, who have been working on the creation and consolidation of local youth councils as consultative organs within the municipality, enabling young people to express their demands concerning local affairs.
Through its project "Actions for Local Development", UNDP Tunisia has been working since 2019 with Medenine municipality to support the creation of the Consultative Youth Council (CCJ), which is now comprised of 20 members. The initiative is now being scaled up to the level of the Governorate. In parallel, MedCities has been working with the Municipality of M'Saken since 2019 for the creation and consolidation of the Youth Council, which following the elections that took place last Februrary 2021, is now comprised of 30 members. Both projects are financially supported by the Catalan Agency for Cooperation and Development.
A group of 40 young participants gathered at the Youth Council exchange, aimed at fostering knowledge transfer and at capitalizing both experiences. The encounter began with the opening interventions from Mrs. Carme Gual, director at the Catalan Agency for Cooperation and Development, the intervention from the UNDP team and from Mr. Josep Canals, MedCities' Secretary General. The mayor of Medenine, Mr. Moncef Ben Yamna and the mayor of M'Saken Mr. Mohamed Alaya, were present as well to talk about the strategic importance of these projects for their municipalities. In addition, GIZ and FNCT, two relevant partners, presented their own experiences regarding youth networking initiatives in Tunisian cities.
During the encounter, Youth Council members mutually presented their creation processes and debated on several issues: their council's strength and weaknesses, their actions plans with a focus on how to render their action sustainable on time, or the challenges they face regarding youth implication, their relationship with the municipal council, their communication impact etc. The aim of these sessions was not only to identify challenges but also to find common and creative solutions. The representative of the two councils presented some flagship field experiences in their respective cities, especially on the role that both Councils assumed during the crisis of Covid-19 in sensitizing the population about physical distancing and about the vaccination process. Furthermore, a discussion was held on the mobilization of youth around their activities and both Councils presented the communication tools they use to give visibility to their actions. The exchanges were considered very fruitful and enriching for the participants, the results of this activity will be included in the final capitalisation report which will be produced by MedCities for the UNDP project.
Check here the report (in French) "Local, Youth Policies: Tools, experiences and recommendations".
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