17 October 2016 – Amman: Generations For Peace has today announced a new programme that will scale-up its peace-building activities in Tunisia from two to six governorates. The two year programme, entitled ‘Youth Resolve: Strengthening Youth Resilience to Violent Extremism in Tunisia through Positive Sport and Arts Alternatives’, is in partnership with the Tunisian Youth Development Academy (TYDA), the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS).
Generations For Peace has been working in Tunisia since 2013, but the new programme marks a significant scaling-up of activities. Working in 18 secondary schools in communities identified most in need of support, the programme will engage 12,870 youth, community members and local government officials in long-term capacity-building and innovative sport and arts-based behavioral change activities, in efforts to reduce sympathy and support for violent extremist organisations. The programme also aims to improve relationships between communities and government entities, and assist in the development of positive alternatives to violent extremism.
Highlighting the importance of this partnership, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, Founder and Chairman of Generations For Peace, said: “This important new programme extends the positive impacts of our Generations For Peace activities to many more vulnerable communities, to tackle one of the most urgent and pressing issues in the world at present. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our local partners, the Tunisian Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth & Sports, and Tunisian Youth Development Academy, without whom this initiative would not be possible. By promoting social inclusion opportunities for youth, and providing them with an increased positive sense of belonging, we can support them to play a positive role in strengthening their communities’ resilience to violent extremism.”
Mr Moez Srihi, President of the Tunisian Youth Development Academy, commented: “We are extremely proud to be the local partner for Generations For Peace activities in Tunisia since 2013, and we have achieved and learned a lot together, but this new programme, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth & Sports, enables us to train more youth leaders and to expand our activities to benefit more youth in six governorates. It comes at a very important time in Tunisia, when radicalization and recruitment to violent extremist organisations presents a major threat to vulnerable youth.”
According to recent reports by the United Nations and Soufan Group, between 5,500 and 7,000 Tunisians – mostly men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 – have joined jihadist organisations in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Mali as foreign terrorist fighters. The latter figures illustrate the prevalence of this ongoing crisis, and the need for such a programme.