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UNV Youth Volunteering Award - Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future

In 2014, the United Nations Volunteers (‪#‎UNV‬) programme’s groundbreaking Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future project called for young people from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen to share the story of how they, as volunteers, brought transformational change to their communities.

Of these, three outstanding young ‪#‎volunteers‬ per country were identified by a national selection committee and awarded during International Youth Day (IYD) 2014. A second phase followed, where a regional panel of judges narrowed the selection down further, identifying those volunteers whose initiative, innovation, and tireless energy have brought profound and lasting positive change to the lives of others.

UNV and MBC Hope, the corporate social responsibility arm of Middle-East broadcasting giant ‪#‎MBC‬ Group, celebrated these exceptional young people in Dubai, where Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, presented them with a special award.

GIVEN RECORD LEVELS OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT, AND POLITICAL AND SOCIAL INSTABILITY, YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE ARAB REGION AND AROUND THE WORLD NEED POSITIVE ROLE MODELS MORE THAN EVER.

When young people themselves provide those role models, in those who have overcome social exclusion, underemployment and poverty to bring about positive changes in their communities and countries, the effects are even more powerful. In the next five days we will introduce you five videos featuring fifteen young volunteers from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen whose volunteer work in education, access to health care, the empowerment of women, and many other areas has had a transformational impact on the communities that they served.

Their individual stories of determination, innovation and enthusiasm are truly inspirational. They offer a glimpse into the region’s existing culture of volunteerism and demonstrate the enormous potential of young volunteers to positively influence the lives of others.

These inspiring young people are the winners of the first UNV Youth Volunteering Award. The award is part of UNV’s Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future project, which works to strengthen the ability of youth in the Arab region to participate actively in the development of their countries.

The winners were announced following a call for submissions that was advertised widely in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen. Young volunteers were asked to share their personal experiences in the form of written stories or videos. National panels selected the top three volunteers from each country based on the development impact of their work, their innovativeness, and dedication.

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