The Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Lebanese American University (LAU), recently organized a two-day bootcamp for participants of the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP). Currently, in its third stage of implementation, initially for this year 2,000 applications for the YLP were received. From these, only 500 candidates were shortlisted for the next phase. The second stage required participants to undergo a course centered on design thinking and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, participants were required to engage in a social media challenge visualizing Lebanon in 2030 and to complete a survey sharing their innovative ideas for the country. The outcome of this challenge was especially inspirational, where many great ideas came in from the enthusiastic youths. Following this stage, 390 participants were shortlisted for the third and most awaited stage - the in-person bootcamp.
390 from every corner of Lebanon took part in the bootcamp, ensuring representation from all six governorates of the country. The bootcamp began with opening remarks from representatives of LAU, FNF, and UNDP, laying down the aspirations and expectations for the intensive sessions ahead. On the first day, there were sessions delving into topics such as leadership and change and the influential power of social media and storytelling, expertly delivered by trainers from both LAU and UNDP.
On the second day, participants were split into two groups, each dedicated to one of the two themes. The first theme was centered around the significant subject "Rebuilding Solutions for Lebanon: Working with the Public Sector", while the second theme addressed "Economic Empowerment and Job Creation". For its 9 th edition, the YLP zoomed in on these pressing issues, urging participants to brainstorm and craft solutions within these themes. The day's highlights included panel discussions for each theme, with a mix of panelists ranging from youth-led initiatives to representatives from LAU, and UNDP. Additionally, under the first theme, participants benefited from insightful sessions about the different organizational structures, ensuring they understood how different organizations work. Meanwhile, those engaged in the second theme received a session on the principles of decent and ethical work. At the end of the day, both groups focused on their respective themes and were provided with sufficient time to team up. They had the opportunity to form cohesive teams and begin the process of coming up with ideas to craft solutions under each theme. Afterward, representatives from each party wrapped up detailing the next steps following the bootcamp. By the end of the day, the YLP was the top 1 trending topic in Lebanon X (Twitter) under the hashtag #YLPLeb.