JOHUD and UNESCO announce the creation of the first National Youth Organisation Coalition in Jordan
This month marks the launch of Jordan’s first national youth organisation coalition, a landmark effort to bring the nation’s youth organisations together under one umbrella. The coalition, which will be hosted by the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) in cooperation with UNESCO’s Amman Office and funded by the European Union, marks a significant shift in longstanding efforts to establish a vibrant and active civil society in Jordan.
Jordan currently boasts a youthful population, with more than half of the nation’s peoples being under the age of 25. Despite this, national indicators still suggest that young people struggle to secure jobs and roles in society; around 25% of Jordan’s significant youth population are unemployed, and many others work for low wages and with little opportunity to influence national decision-making or the economy.
Although many young people enjoy few opportunities to participate in wider society, significant numbers occupy their time with local youth organisations, playing sport, forming drama groups and helping one another with problems. Currently, there are 5251 registered youth societies and organisations in the country, suggesting that significant numbers of young people use their services.
Youth community groups have historically been an excellent means of helping individuals overcome their problems, and the new coalition aims to magnify this ability tenfold. By bringing likeminded groups together under one umbrella and one set of principles, JOHUD and UNESCO hope to create programs and partner/stakeholder coordination mechanisms that focus on civil society in general, helping to create solutions for some of the biggest issues hampering the nation, including unemployment, education, and more.
The most central aim of the initiative is to ensure that young people can inform and be heard when others make policies that affect the youth, a vital means of helping decision-makers realise the real situation on the ground. Plans have been enacted to broaden the coverage of youth news, rights, achievements, and perspectives in mainstream media outlets and in smaller home-grown initiatives (like JOHUD’s own Radio Farah al Nas).
Historic efforts to begin forming the nation’s first youth organisation coalition will be carried out throughout 2016, with the final coalition likely to be launched by the end of the year. Creating an active, engaged and acknowledged youth population in Jordan may take longer, although the benefits for Jordan’s economy and civil society will make the effort more than worthwhile.