Youth Leadership Programme 8 Launch: Youth Transforming our Future

September 6, 2022

In partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, UNDP Bahrain is announcing the eighth edition of the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP8) for the year 2022!

Learn more about the programme and how you can participate here.

The Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) is a UNDP regional programme for the Arab countries that was launched in 2015. The programme purpose is 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.

YLP has run seven successful cycles to date and, as of the end of 2021, has worked with over 30,000 youth participants. YLP participants have launched and established successful small businesses, won municipality elections, received recognition and awards for their innovative solutions, and presented their ideas at renowned universities and global platforms like the ECOSOC Youth Forum within the UN Headquarters in New York, Stanford University, Hult International Business School, and the European Parliament.

Over the past 7 years, UNDP in partnership with local governments and youth-serving organizations (YSOs), has been working to train and build the capacity of youth to enable them to be the drivers of development and progress in their communities. 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 been continuously shaped to deliver the best sustainable development leadership training in Bahrain.

The YLP in Bahrain was fully virtual for the last two years in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, giving the programme team and youth an opportunity to experience new ways of learning. Taking those learnings on, the new YLP8 will have a hybrid format, with the core workshops done in-person and working sessions done virtually.

The YLP8 is planned and implemented through a close collaboration of the YLP8 National Committee which consists of a team of young representatives from UNDP Bahrain office, the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs, AlMabarrah AlKhalifia Foundation, Ayadi Relief, AIESEC Bahrain, Global Shapers Manama Hub, and YLP alumni. YLP sponsors; Abdulrahim Alkooheji Foundation continue their support in building youth’ capacity as agents of change in promoting sustainable development.

YLP8 Theme

Transforming the future of young people through quality education and gender equality

This year, the YLP8 overarching theme will focus on access to quality education (SDG4) and gender equality (SDG5) as a means of transforming the future of work and young men and women in the Arab region.

Quality, comprehensive, inclusive, and adequate education is key to socio-economic mobility, escaping poverty and having access to decent employment. According to the International Labour Organization, youth unemployment in the Arab States is the fastest growing in the world, increasing from 19.5 to 25.6 percent between 2012 and 2020. Access to learning and skilling is vital for transition into decent work and economic growth. It is key for the youth, both men and women, to have transferable and adequate skills that meet the demands of the modern labour market and how those would change in the years ahead, including, but not limited to, communications skills, digital literacy, financial literacy, critical thinking, and creative and innovative mindset that are viewed through a Future of Work (FoW) lens.

The covid-19 pandemic, protracted conflict and civil unrest in the region has disrupted learning of many young people, hindering their employment prospects and thus transition into adulthood. Especially affected are young women in the region, who face additional challenges and barriers in accessing education and decent employment comparing to men, such as discrimination, patriarchal gender norms perceiving specific profession as unfit for women and expecting women to take on primary caregiver roles. Supporting women is a priority in this region for a number of cross-cutting reasons, however supporting their access to quality education leads to both decent work and financial stability, which is a key element in achieving gender equality.

YLP8 will therefore drive national and regional discussions with youth on how to address challenges through social innovation and create sustainable and inclusive solutions.

The YLP8 in Bahrain this year aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Strengthen capacity of youth as leaders for social impact
  • Develop youth’s creativity and prepare them for the future of work
  • Expand youth understanding of quality education and gender equality
  • Advance youth’s ability to create systemic solutions for the SDGs
  • Co-create a safe space and support system for youth in Bahrain
  • Enhance collaboration between YSOs, Government, and Youth
  • Foster a Global Changemaker mindset


The YLP8 Experience

The programme will focus on exploring innovation in our ways of learning and how life-long learning can create a sustainable and thriving future of work for all people, while ensuring the closing of the gender gap across academic and professional spaces across our communities.

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 gender equality’s role in creating effective change
  • Explore the importance of quality education in developing a sustainable future of work
  • 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
  • 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 YLP8 Experience, the programme will starting the last week of September and continue until end 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 achievement of the SDGs in Bahrain and beyond.

The programme will consist of a series of intensive in-person weekend workshops and virtual working sessions for 5 weeks, followed by a week for reflection and closing, that will take participants on the following journey:

At the end of the YLP8 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 Mentorship stage and have the opportunity to join the YLP8 Regional Forum!


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 each team’s idea
  • Develop leadership and teamwork capacity
  • Enhance technical and storytelling skills
  • Get to join the YLP8 Regional Forum!


YLP8 Regional Forum

Every year, the YLP ends with a regional forum where successful youth participants from 18 participating countries 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.

Are you ready to join YLP8?

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 YLP8 programme is only a start to many possibilities ahead! Youth are at the forefront of creating positive development, and this is your opportunity to join the youth movement!

The following are the YLP8 participation criteria:

  • Age between 18 – 35 years old
  • Proficient in the English and Arabic languages
  • Resident of Bahrain
  • 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
  • All experience levels are welcome 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 8 in Bahrain!

Application deadline by the 18th of September 2022.

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Become the change you seek.