Cohort: YLP 5 (2019)
“Rebel” is how Karen likes to define herself. Growing up in a systematic world, she has taken it as her mission to defy the system and its norms. While the world tries to indoctrinate us with how things ought to be, she finds herself challenging all the assumptions and intuitions. Being the only millennial in her family, she often found a gap between a generation which resorts to knowledge through experience and another which searches between the covers of a book, and while we all acknowledge the power of books in education, we are rarely admiring knowledge through experience.Therefore, it has been her challenge to promote knowledge through experience to help youth map what’s between book covers into solving the world’s modern problems.
The greeks call it “Apeirokalia” which means “ lack of experience in things beautiful”, Karen calls for a rebel against it.
About the Alumni experience
While being oppressed with the current systems of mass education which are too outdated and stifle creativity, Karen expresses YLP as the most cultivating place for youths. When she first joined YLP, she had an insatiable curiosity and always tried to converge all her knowledge into human-centered designs. After joining YLP, her perspective shifted from just having ideas to building a concrete plan and implementing it. All that through the enamorment and empowerment of the UNDP team and partners who offered her all the support needed from training to mentoring sessions to local and regional workshops one of which is “The Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Bangkok”. Within the YLP community, Karen feels free to express every idea and listens to many other inspiring ones. She believes in the vision of the YLP and is grateful to be a board member helping in scaling up the impact and expanding this passionate family year after year.
In her own words she says: “ YLP doesn’t only build specialists, it builds Leaders with spirit and vision”.
About the Alumni Project: Khebez w Meleh
Enhancing GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Inequalities aren’t only prevalent on a global scale between developing and developed countries, but also within a country’s urban and rural areas. In fact, many countries are having a dynamic shift from predominantly rural to predominantly urban. With the presence of urban bias, job opportunities tend to be centered in the city leaving the countryside abandoned especially in the presence of sectarianism in Lebanon. This has so far contributed to losing connections and bonds not only between us as humans but also with nature which is the source of all knowledge and spirituality. Accordingly, in our social enterprise “Khebez w Meleh”, we aim at investing in smallholders and family farmers by helping them generate revenue through empowering them to host local and international tourists. Technically,we offer an easy to use web-platform connecting local or international tourists with rural households. By that, we are providing cultural seekers with affordable, unique and authentic rural experience while flourishing the livelihoods in rural areas. We at Khebez w Meleh envision social cohesion and reduced inequalities locally and globally.We envision achievements in economic, social, environmental sustainability and food security. We envision a future where humans are more connected to nature and to each other.