The project has been completed in fall 2007 and the opening was held on Saturday, October 20, 2007.
The Lebanon Development Marketplace 2006 competition: "Youth in Governance: Shaping the Future" is a competition aimed at encouraging youth awareness and participation in public life and good governance.
The initiative is funded by the World Bank, in partnership with the Global Opportunities Fund of the United Kingdom, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Lebanese Transparency Association.
67 projects were submitted by academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, & student and youth clubs from all over Lebanon. 05AMAM's project was one of 14 that were selected and are currently in the process of implementation. 05AMAM’s project is currently underway, and expected to be completed by the end of he current school year, in June 2006.
Should this pilot project prove to be successful, 05AMAM aims to reproduce it in other schools all around Lebanon, with a particular focus on remote and marginalized areas.
05AMAM's project consists of creating a Mock Municipal Council made up of 16-18 years youth belonging to Al Nahda School, in Jabal Akroum, Akkar (North Lebanon).
The project's objectives are three-fold, and aim to encourage youth participation in local governance, reach remote and marginalized communities and react to the non-existence of municipal authority in the target region. The approach also advocates democratic values through education and training, empowering local communities & encouraging sustainable development.
88 secondary-cycle students will receive specialized training articulated around the role and mechanisms of a municipal council and the electoral process leading to the election of a youth council made up of 15 of their peers. The council will have to respect various criteria, ranging from gender parity to representation of all age groups and villages, as well as accountability and reporting to the voters.
Once formed, the elected municipal council will then be assisted in developing potential projects. Based on the priorities defined by the students, the council will develop full-fledged project proposals ((objectives, budgets, mechanisms of implementation, sustainability). The selected project will be implemented and financed by 05AMAM.
On Saturday October 20, 2007, 05AMAM organized the opening of the "Akroum Youth Cultural Center" at Al Nahda High School in Jabal Akroum, Akkar.
The opening was attended by the Mock Youth Municipal Council, other students, parents, local personalities, other school representatives, 05AMAM members, and the press.
After hearing the national anthem, the ceremony resumed with the following:
1- The student Faten Hammoud representing the school's mock municipal council highlighted the importance of this center for the students and stressed the council's role in the decision making process.
2- Ms. Asma Andraos 05AMAM's board president thanked all the students and especially the elected council, Mr. Ali Esber (school owner and principal), and Dr. Fares El Zein (the project's trainer and consultant) for their contributions to this achievement. She insisted on 05AMAM's will to replicate this innovative project in other remote and marginalized Lebanese areas.
3- Mr. Ali Esber principal and owner of the school described the center's management structure that will operate in full independence and transparency and ensure sustainability. He declared the center's facilities open to all members of the local community including schools, organisations and individuals.
After the ribbon was cut by Ms. Asma Andraos and Mr. Ali Esber, all were invited to visit the center.