Cohort: YLP 3 (2017)
Malak Safa, a Lebanese social activist, and a young female leader. I am proud to be a board member of the UNDP Youth Leadership Program. I am a MEPI alumni as well, and I work in the humanitarian field with UNRWA in the south of Lebanon.
On 2019 I launched the “Youth Municipal Shadow Councils” initiative which aims to promote youth and female participation and adoption of participatory governance approach at municipal level. Over the last three years, I participated in regional and international conferences focused on youth leadership, including the 2018 United Nations Eco-Soc Youth Forum in New York.
I am most passionate about good governance and working on policy making levels. After years working in the humanitarian field I discovered the impact on working on policy making levels, and the importance of the role of government institutions who are the duty bearers, and whose achievements’ impact would be beyond and more sustainable.
About the Alumni experience
On 2017, I started the YLP journey joining the YLP3 cohort. YLP cultivated my leadership skills through skills training, networking, exposure to experiences such as, regional and international conferences, by which I had the chance to participate in the ECO-SOC Youth Forum in the UN-HQ in New York. Adding that the skills and experince I built through the YLP journey opened several other opportunities to best serve my community.
YLP trust and support over the past years was the encouraging actor to go forward and to support my community despite the many challenges youth face in the country.
About the Alumni Project: Youth Municipal Shadow Councils
Enhancing GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
The “Youth Municipal Shadow Councils” initiative aims to promote youth and female participation and participatory governance approach at municipal level.
Promoting participatory governance approach and supporting municipal practices are operated by youth municipal shadow councils with high female representation in five municipalities in the South of Lebanon.
The youth municipal shadow councils’ members are being prepared to be qualified and trusted municipal members in the future. Their participation is raising their probability to be elected as municipal members in the coming elections.
Through promoting participatory governance approach, the municipal work will get more systematic in ways of responding to the needs of the community, and in relation to social accountability, and in building the trust between the municipality and the community contributing to democracy and to building a strong civil society aligned with its strong institutions.
The initiative is a response to the unsatisfactory performance of the current municipal members who lack expertise which is reflected in the week municipal practices, lack of community civic participation especially among youth and females, and the lack of trust and communication between the community and the municipality.
The pilot project or the first “Youth Municipal Shadow Council” was established in Burj Rahal municipality on 2019.