SAT-7 has launched a new project designed to equip and encourage young people in Egypt to invest themselves in their local communities and wider society and to promote the social conditions that will enhance their freedoms.
The five-year project, Youth for an Enabling Society (YES), will focus on developing social cohesion among youth aged 18-24, and between them and the rest of society. Together, they will explore themes of diversity, personal responsibility, and creative self-expression, and in, so doing, encourage justice and reconciliation between diverse communities in Egypt.
The project will be implemented by SAT-7’s Cairo office and is supported by Norad (the Norwegian agency for development cooperation) via Digni (an alliance of 20 Christian organisations) and the Norwegian Mission Society. Programme activities will lead to the creation of media content that will be broadcast on SAT-7 ARABIC’s satellite and digital media platforms.
Learn and experiment
Traditional social values, economic pressures, and centralised authority, compounded by disappointment at the outcome of the Arab Spring, have generated widespread despondency among young people in Egypt and limited their opportunities to contribute constructively to society. In this challenging context, SAT-7 will use its networks and expertise in media and development to carve out spaces for them to learn and experiment.
Workshops will allow young people to establish relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and to explore with them themes of justice, human rights, and care for the environment. At a later stage of the project the youth will be trained in film-making and photo-journalism as a healthy method of social involvement. Learning about innovative projects that have creatively addressed social needs will also equip them to use entrepreneurship to solve community problems.
Since the project began in January, the team have already identified local partners and visited an Egyptian environmental initiative. They also met with Svend Olling, the Danish Ambassador in Egypt, who agreed to share Danish experiences and projects in the field of environmental responsibility, to encourage innovation among Egyptian youth. Egypt faces significant challenges borne of urbanisation and severe water shortages, while Denmark was rated the most sustainable country in the world in 2022. Olling said that it is eager to share its experience with other countries.
Project Lead, Rafik George, said, “We are really excited about the launch of YES. There is a deep need for initiatives like this. We hope that through our work over the next five years young people from diverse backgrounds across ethnic, religious, and gender lines will learn to live well together and care for society in ways that build a brighter future for them and for everyone. We also endeavour to speak to the rest of society, amplifying young voices, to call it to action that it may provide an enabling environment for its new generation.”