What's the Sahel, and why a program there?
The Sahel is a large region in West Africa, marking the transition between North Africa, the Sahara, and the rest of the African continent. The Sahel is home to major cultural and economical trades, and has been for centuries, as well as home to many ethnic groups and as many different languages. Most countries in the Sahel nonetheless share the practice of the French language.
The region is peculiar in that they face today a dynamic demographic growth, one of the most important of the world. In 2019, estimations place the proportion of people below the age of 15 at 50%, and 63% below 24. This important proportion of young people in the general population in the Sahel raises major challenges for the future of the region, and as many opportunities. From education, to health and governance, young people in the Sahel are at the forefront of every challenges the region faces. Their potential is unlimited to develop the Sahel, as well as empowering local communities.
The Sahel program
The Sahel Program aims to do exactly that. After close to three years operating in Brazil, Young Enough Ambition is developing a program to implement in the Sahel, with the aim of empowering its youth and foster initiatives benefiting all in the region. In 2021, we will launch our pilot-program around the two pillars that make Young Enough Ambition’s offer so peculiar:
- A multi-days event in one of the countries in the Sahel (to be announced pending the opportunities plans currently being developed by our Sahel team). We will host dozens of young people from the region, each of them carrying the germs of an initiative that has the potential to bring positive change to their communities, or already developing such an initiative. We will connect them with local mentors, and organize workshops, good practice-sharing events, and networking opportunities for them during the event. The goal is to offer them a toolkit which they can use right after the event to develop their initiatives.
- The tailored mentoring of a number of Grantees. Young Enough Ambition will select, with its local partners and professionals, a number of initiatives which will benefit from funding opportunities, as well as a regular follow-up with our mentors. In about a year, we aim to help these initiatives become sustainable, and successful, for the benefit of the communities in which they are built.
How can I help?
To make all of this happen, Young Enough Ambition is looking to partner with local NGOs, businesses, and civil society groups (particularly dealing with youth matters) throughout the region. We cannot succeed without the important and essential contributions of those who are well rooted in their communities.