What is the “Young Mediterranean Voices” programme?

Young Mediterranean Voices is the EU-funded Programme for intercultural dialogue and debate, aimed to promote the culture of dialogue amongst youth and creates a shared understanding with their peers across the Mediterranean. 

Who are our partners?

Young Mediterranean Voices is coordinated by the Anna Lindh Foundation, co-founded by the British Council, and developed in partnership with the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Friends of Europe, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, MEDAC and Soliya. The programme is funded by the European Commission and co-funded by the Government of Finland, the British Council and World Bank Group.

What are the programme’s objectives?

The Young Mediterranean Voices programme aims to provide young women and men with a unique opportunity to:

  • develop 21st century skills such as critical thinking and cultural intelligence through debate training and leadership;
  • facilitate constructive online engagement and participate in intercultural debate groups through virtual exchanges;
  • Securing a dialogue platform for youth to discuss constructive suggestions for current challenges with experienced leaders, mentors and partner institutions working across the globe 

What are the Southern Mediterranean countries included? 

Eight countries from the South Mediterranean region have been implementing the Young Mediterranean Voices programme since 2018: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

How is the programme implemented?

The Young Mediterranean Voices programme is implemented through a year-long cycle of activities. If you have already heard about the Young Mediterranean Voices programme, you have also probably come across terms such as ‘Debate Hub’, ‘Master Facilitator’, ‘Peer Facilitator.’ The below explains the cycle of activities and all these terms in detail.

Phase one: Identification and training of Debate Hubs and facilitators

Identification of “Debate Hubs” (November – January) 

“Debate Hubs” are identified via an open call to the Youth training and development centres and education Institutions. An organisational capacity building scheme is offered to youth-led “Debate Hubs”, to strengthen their capacity in areas such as budget management, reporting and child protection. Read more about the activities the hubs will be required to undertake.

Master Facilitation Training (January – March)

A regional ‘Master Facilitation Training’ is organised for Master Facilitators, to hone their skills in adjudicating, judging, and hub management, the ultimate aim being the reinforcement of quality assurance across the programme. 

National Debate Training (March – June)

A national debate training is organised in each participating country to provide the necessary theory, skill and practice of debate and its formats. The training is delivered by the Master Facilitators. Through these debates, potential Peer Facilitators are identified.

Phase two: Debaters training

Kick-off meeting (June – July)

The Kick-off meeting is held once the “Debate Hubs” and “Peer Facilitators” are identified. This event will gather “Hub Leads”, “Master Facilitators”, “Peer Facilitators”. They will get to know each other, learn more about the programme and develop a timeline of activities for the ongoing year.

Cascade Training (July – August)

With the support of the “Peer Facilitators”, the cascade training will be delivered within the selected “Debate Hubs”. Through this process, young debaters are trained forming new debate clubs. Debate Hubs will gain capacity to run a programme of local debate activities and contribute to promoting a culture of debate at the local community level.

Phase three: Debate hub competitions

Intra-hub competitions (August – September)

As part of the training cycle of the debaters, competitions are held after the Cascade Training. At this point, the competitions engage teams from debate clubs that belong to the same hub.

Inter-hub Competitions (August – September)

Following the intra-hub competitions, competitions are held between teams from debate clubs that belong to two or more “Debate Hubs”.

Phase four: National Debate Forum

Following the inter- and intra-hub competitions, a National Debate Forum takes place at a country level. Teams from the different “Debate Hubs” take part in this three-day event during which they debate motions that are directly linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) themes. The National Debate Forum will be an opportunity to dialogue with experienced leaders, mentors and partner institutions through the Policy Dialogue activity. 

In parallel: Regional Leadership Seminar

The “Regional Leadership Seminar” takes place on a yearly basis and represents the anchor event in an annual pedagogical programme with alumni. The aim of this Seminar is to demonstrate skills of leadership, public speaking, as well as a clear ability to progress the cascade programme’s activity in their local community. 

Add-on: Strategic Comms Labs

The strategic comms lab focused on the development of youth-led creative communication initiatives to challenge counter narratives in the digital world. Participants learn enhanced digital literacy and media skills. This is commanded by social media leading companies. 

Grand finale: Euro-Med Debate and Dialogue Forum

A culmination of the National Debate Forums (NDFs), the “Great Debate” is a central annual event for the Young Mediterranean Voices programme. The forum involves champions of the NDFs. It also serves as a major platform for dialogue and visibility. Debate motions are built both on the main trends analyzed within the grass-root debates, and SDGs themes.