The self-organized, youth-led organization, the Syrian Youth Assembly became Kiron’s partner in June 2019. Together there is a shared commitment to re-engage Syrian youth by amplifying their voices and motivating them to become more involved and contribute to the future of post-war Syria. The nation has faced many challenges including war and conflict, which has forced many groups to follow a broken or fragmented education and employment path. Younger generations are particularly affected by this. The Syrian Youth Assembly (SYA) formed with the intention of organizing and empowering a young community to take part in humanitarian action. The SYA works to ensure a bright future for young Syrians, as well as enabling them to take part in the rebuilding of a nation. They aim to elevate the voices of the youth.
The partnership between the SYA and Kiron is based on meaningful efforts to strengthen young peoples’ skills and employability, with the long term goal of achieving quality education for all. The most impact and weight is placed onto number 4 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all. This goal is the theme of the work taking place in both organizations.
At Kiron, we too believe in the active role of the youth as a key component in order for sustainable development and change to be achieved. The younger generation has the potential to be positive change-makers and leaders on humanitarian issues, but to do so their voices must be represented and audible on an international scale. Therefore, the best action is to pass the microphone to the youth, so that they can be heard on political issues, policy-making, and peace talks.
The SYA, founded by a group of young Syrians during the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, seeks to identify and empower this target group through capacity- and peace-building and professional development through digital learning. The SYA focuses on giving young Syrians’ a voice on an international platform, through participation in Syrian peace talks and processes, and discussions on the issue of post-war Syria. The Assembly is a member and active player in numerous international human rights groups, including the International Youth Federation, The United Network of Young Peacebuilders based in The Hague, Netherlands, and a member of the United Nations: Major Group for Children and Youth group, based in New York.
Identifying and understanding where opportunities in education and employment lie for the younger generations, is highlighted in this partnership. Therefore, promoting skill-boosting, professional training, and education to young Syrians is the most important first step. These types of programs are necessary to build a significant representation of Syrian youth in education and the labor market, both in Syria and on an international scale. The SYA highlights the opportunities within the labor market and encourages youth participation by suggesting skills that are necessary for the job market. Many of these necessary skills can be gathered via digital learning. Similarly to Kiron, the SYA works together with massive open online courses (MOOCS) from renowned educational providers and Open Educational Resources (OER’s). Kiron’s aim is to empower this group with a skill booster program to prepare learners for the job market. Skills, knowledge and a community can be obtained via such digital platforms, as well as guidance that will help with future integration and a successful professional path.
At Kiron, we are grateful for the ongoing engagement and continuous support from the SYA in encouraging their youth members to join the Kiron Campus. Not only are many youth groups a part of our platform and partaking in a range of courses, but we now have a growing online social community. Kiron hopes for more collaborative innovation in the future with the SYA and will continue to support the Assembly in their endeavors to empower the Syrian youth. Encouraging young people to take an active and leading role in humanitarian issues, is laying down the foundations for lasting peace and shifting to an inclusive and resilient society.