Introduction

The C4D Network, through its consultancy channel, is managing a new project focusing on communication capacity development for Syrian adolescents; with a specific focus on entrepreneurship and campaigning skills.

This is a project with UNICEF. UNICEF Syria is focusing on support the development of young people’s skills and capacities, and provide them with opportunities to design, develop and establish social and business entrepreneurship initiatives that can improve their livelihoods and create innovative solutions to some of the social problems faced in the community. This includes training, mentoring, and micro-funding.

The C4D Network will conduct training of trainer of the UNICEF Syria social media partners, develop training curriculum and mentor promotional campaigns design. The Communication for Development activity will cover the period of one year where youth groups are trained and mentored as they produce social media packages to assist with business and social initiatives.The set of skills includes training of youth on the use of social media for participation and entrepreneurship promotion. UNICEF will also administer a seed funding initiative in parallel with the skills building programme.

Project Activities include: 

  • Curriculum Development: the C4D Network will produce a youth oriented training curriculum in Arabic that will specifically cover theoretical concepts of civic engagement and communication, the forms of use social media for youth participation and business promotion, introduction to social media platforms and ways of use of each platform, the design of editorial calendars and campaigns planning, basic multimedia skills for social media, writing techniques for multi-platforms as well as networking, audience segmentation and engagement strategies. The curriculum will cover relevant examples to the Middle East and Syria so the trainees have better understanding of new concepts to them. 
  • Training of Trainers: the C4D Network will train members of the ‘The Syrian Researchers’ network as trainers to deliver the curriculum to the beneficiaries. The C4D Network will conduct the ToT, guide the trainers on training plans in Syria and mentor progress. 
  • Training of youth groups: the C4D Network in collaboration with the Syrian Researchers will deliver a four-day workshop (total 72 days of training) on social media skills for youth participation at six locations as follows: Homs governorate (3 workshops, total 12 days), Damascus and Rural Damascus (10 workshops, total 40 days training), Aleppo (1 workshop, total 4 days), Hasakeh Governorate (2 locations, total 8 days), Tartous Governorate (2 workshops, total 8 days). Each workshop is expected to be attended by 15 adolescent participants. 
  • Mentoring services: the C4D Network in collaboration with the Syrian Researchers will assist youth trainees with social media campaigns, packages design as well as mentoring of progress. The mentorship style is expected to be customized to each beneficiary and with time allocated by the Syrian Researchers to support, promote the campaigns on as need be basis. 
  • Skills assessment report: the C4D Network will design and conduct post project skills assessment, that emphasises participation and the ‘voice’ of the youth. 

Project vision: The vision is to equip adolescents with social media skills where they can better communicate their issues as well as design online campaigns for own initiatives. This includes social initiatives as well as business initiatives as we have seeds fund for youth. The training should include introductions on social media for civic engagement, the basics of editorial calendars design, audience engagement strategies, basic multimedia skills for social media campaigns production, publishing strategies, etc. The ToT will include more advanced skills on training design and management.

Project Beneficiaries: The project beneficiaries for the training are youth who have been selected by UNICEF to receive micro-grants for small-scale entrepreneurship and advocacy initiatives as part of the broader UNICEF focus.

Project Timeframe: The timeframe for the project is as follows: Curriculum Development – Jan/Feb 2017, Training of Trainers, Lebanon – Feb 2017, Training of youth groups, Syria – March – July 2017, Mentoring services – August – November 2017, and Skills assessment – December 2017. 

Background: Adolescents and youth comprise a significant proportion of the Syrian population. From a total population of 18.4 million people in the Syrian Arab Republic, 33 per cent are estimated to be young people (10-24 years old) and 23 per cent are adolescents (10-19 years old). The UN estimates show that of the 6 million Syrian adolescents and youth, more than 2.0 million are internally displaced. Adolescents and youth are among the most severely affected by the consequences of crisis and conflict. With the loss of adult-care providers, disruption of social structures and a sense of normalcy, and in a constant environment of violence and insecurity, they face heightened vulnerabilities and endangered social and economic futures. Security and peace inside Syria is the strongest and the most heartfelt aspiration by adolescents and youth. Young people are growing frustrated and dis-empowered by their lack of voice or venues for contributing to their communities, and opportunities for positive engagement in social cohesion and decision-making processes. Empowered and skilled adolescents and youth are critical for the future of Syria. Provision of positive opportunities for learning and positive social, civic and economic engagement are an essential protection strategy for vulnerable and marginalized young people. This will enable girls and boys to become more resilient and have capacities and opportunities to safely transition to a productive adulthood. Against this backdrop of the damaging effects of war and conflict, UNICEF Syria is urging long-term investment and interventions to meet the needs of adolescents and youth affected by the crisis. UNICEF and local partners are broadening opportunities for conflict-affected young people to provide them with a more productive present and stable future by ensuring access to skills building opportunities; access to practice those skills and implement initiatives with a positive social impact; and expand avenues for participation within their communities.

Photo copyright and credits: 1) Home page photo © UNICEF/UNI199921/Anma  2) Project page photo © UNICEF/UN032202/Ourfali