Launching the Youth Leadership Programme 7: Creating Change from Inside Out

July 11, 2021


In partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, UNDP Bahrain and the YLP Bahrain Community is thrilled to announce the seventh edition of the Youth Leadership Programme for the year 2021 (YLP7).

This article contains all you need to know about YLP7 and how you can participate in it.


What is the Youth Leadership Programme?

The YLP is an initiative under the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States, launched in 2015 to build the region's most dynamic network working at the intersection of youth, innovation and sustainable development. The programme aims to empower a generation of young leaders, changemakers, and social innovators, to grow their capacity in tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their countries and the Arab region.

Youth Leadership Programme: Past, Present and Future

Over the last 6 years, UNDP in partnership with Youth-Serving Organizations (YSOs) has been working, training, building the capacity of youth to enable them to be the drivers of development and progress in their countries and communities. Generalized training have been delivered ranging from the introduction training in the Sustainable Development Goals, Gender Equality and Equity sensitization to Social Innovation. Design Thinking has been used as a methodology to support young people create solutions to problems, they are most passionate about. These past 6 years have demonstrated the creativity, agility, and eagerness of young people to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the region as partners. With less than a decade left to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is vital that youth are empowered partners.

UNDP Bahrain country office joined the Youth Leadership Programme in its third edition (YLP3). Since then, and through working with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, local youth-serving organizations, and the YLP Bahrain Community (consisting of YLP alumni, facilitators, and speakers), the YLP Experience has collaboratively and steadily been shaped in Bahrain.

Every country in the Arab region does YLP slightly differently based on the local context and needs, and in Bahrain, UNDP Bahrain works closely with its partners to unlock the potential of young people in Bahrain and foster their active role in achieving the SDGs. The YLP6 team did this last year by developing the YLP participants' social innovation ideas through facilitating virtual dynamic workshops and inviting inspiring speakers. The young participants then created groups that focus on a strong social innovation idea and worked together to present it to a local judging committee, where the winners then joined the YLP Regional Forum to present their ideas and connect with other young social innovators across the region.


YLP7 Theme
Creating Change from Inside Out

Young men and women have the potential to drive significant change and promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, they face several challenges making it difficult for them to reach their potential as changemakers.

Changemakers can be defined as young people striving to make a positive impact on their communities by implementing a community-based project, being active in shaping national policies that support their communities and country and running social enterprises that create jobs while addressing a social issue.

Youth in the Arab region are born into and up against complex realities that make their roles as changemakers all the more challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic and its stressors in the Arab region are set against a backdrop of protracted crises and instability, of poverty and famine, of discrimination and exclusion, of high unemployment and economic collapse. In many cases, these realities have perpetuated for generations, so that the traumas experienced by youth today are woven with the generational trauma they carry from decades of stress and tension.

The context in which youth in the Arab region are coming of age cannot be controlled; but to the best of the UNDP’s ability, its role is to support youth’s desire and commitment to implement positive change. In addition to the technical skills required to advance their change-making ideas, young people need to be equipped with tools to cope with stress and to ride the waves of unpredictable circumstances.

Under the title of “Creating Change from Inside Out,” The YLP7 will focus on the topics of Wellbeing and Mental Health, engaging and discussing the reality and challenges in Bahrain with the interconnection of individual, community and planetary wellbeing, and how addressing all levels of wellbeing could galvanize the achievement of the SDGs.

We ask how can wellbeing be at the center of tackling all the SDGs challenges? How can changemakers create effective positive change when they address their mental health? What does community and planetary wellbeing mean, and how can we work towards it?


YLP7 Team and Objectives

The YLP7 is planned and implemented through a close collaboration of the YLP7 National Committee: A team of young representatives from UNDP Bahrain, the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, AlMabarrah AlKhalifia Foundation, Ayadi Relief, Rotaract Club of Bahrain, AIESEC Bahrain, Global Shapers Manama Hub, and YLP alumni.

The YLP7 National Committee has come together this year to look at the theme of “Creating Change from Insight Out,” focusing on Wellbeing and how it relates to Bahrain. Through a collaborative effort, the National Committee has identified the following objectives:

  • Strengthen capacity of youth as leaders for social impact
  • Develop youth’s emotional intelligence and resilience
  • Expand youth understanding of wellbeing for people and planet
  • Advance youth’s ability to create systemic solutions for the SDGs
  • Enhance collaboration between YSOs, Government, and Youth
  • Foster a Global Changemaker mindset

The YLP7 Experience programme

The YLP7 Experience is a 10-week learning journey that aims to build the inner, interpersonal, and professional capacity of young women and men to create social and environmental impact in their communities and the world. Taking on the theme of “Creating Change from Inside Out,” the YLP7 Experience will give special focus on the wellbeing of the young changemakers, and how addressing their own health can expand and be part of creating solutions for the wellbeing of their communities and the planet.

By joining the programme, participants will:

  • Develop your leadership and social innovations skills
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the SDGs and how to contribute to their achievement
  • Understand wellbeing and mental health and its role in creating effective change
  • Enhance your ability in tackling and presenting complex challenges systemically
  • Learn more about the different pathways you can take to achieve positive social change
  • Attain a range of networking opportunities among other youth, changemakers, and experts
  • Be part of local and regional networks of like-minded peers that support your social impact journey, including local youth-serving and international development organizations
  • Co-create a safe space and support system for youth in Bahrain
  • Have a space where you can explore and collaborate your brimming changemaker ideas
  • And play a role in the achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals!

After selecting successful applicants to join YLP7 Experience, the main programme will start by 28th of August and will continue until 30th of October. While participants join as individuals, halfway through the programme, participants will form teams that work together in identifying their challenge area and creating an innovative solution that contributes to the achievements of the SDGs.

The programme will consist of a series of interactive and informative virtual workshops that will look like this:

These series of workshops will be supported by various Optional Sessions that will give you an opportunity to further expand your interests, focus on a direction you would like to develop, create a space to get to know other participants, and learn more about the YLP Bahrain and regional community.

By the end of the YLP7 Experience, the teams will then present their ideas to a judging panel at the SDGs Challenge final event. Three winning teams will proceed to the next stage.


Teams Mentorship

Once the three winning teams are selected, they are further supported to develop their capacity and mature their ideas in the Teams Mentorship stage, This will include:

  • Gain mentoring with experts appropriate to your team’s idea
  • Develop your leadership and teamwork capacity
  • Learn how to facilitate dynamic and engaging workshops
  • Enhance your technical and presentation skills
  • Join the YLP7 Regional Forum!

YLP7 Regional Forum

Every year, the YLP ends with a regional forum where successful youth participants travel to a hosting Arab country. YLP participants get to meet youth from all around the Arab region, share knowledge, learn from each other’s ideas, and network with other young people, regional social innovation experts and policy leaders, and international development organizations. The format and date of the Regional Forum will be defined at a later time, depending on the COVID-19 situation in the region.


Are you ready to join YLP7?

Do you want to create change in your community and the world? Do you want to address challenges that affect you and the people around you? Joining the YLP7 programme is only a start to many possibilities ahead! Youth are the forefront of create positive development, and this is your opportunity to join this global movement!

The following are the YLP7 participation criteria:

  • Age between 19 – 30 years old
  • Proficient in the English and Arabic languages
  • Be a resident of Bahrain (not necessarily a citizen)
  • High motivation and interest in collaboration for social innovation
  • Passion to create positive change to global challenges in the local context
  • Capability and willingness to participate actively throughout the programme
  • Both experienced and inexperienced participants are encouraged to apply

Interested participants are highly recommended to read this article thoroughly, visit the links attached, and explore the YLP Bahrain social media accounts to know more about the programme.

Apply here to join the Youth Leadership Programme 7 in Bahrain!

Applications close by the 19th of August 2021.

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Become the change you seek.