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‘Maharati’ youth programme expands to 200 centres across Kingdom

By Camille Dupire - May 10,2018 - Last updated at May 10,2018

Youth Minister Bashir Rawashdeh takes part in the launching ceremony of Maharati at Naur youth centre, on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of GFP)

NAUR — The expansion of "Maharati", a programme aimed at enhancing social cohesion by building youth's life skills and supporting sport-based activities was announced on Tuesday at Amman's Naur Youth Centre for Boys, in the presence of Jordanian and foreign officials, local and international organisations and youth from the area.

The programme, which is expected to reach 45,000 youth from various nationalities between the ages of ten and 24, will expand its implementation from 40 to 200 Minsitry of Youth (MoY) supported centres across the Kingdom.

In the presence of Youth Minister Bashir Rawashdeh and UNICEF representative in Jordan Robert Jenkins, Generations For Peace's (GFP) President Mohanned Arabiat, said: “The rate at which this programme continues to scale is astounding. Increasing from 16 to 40 locations last year, and now to nearly 200 in 2018 — these numbers reflect not just communities, but the thousands of youth and adolescents by which they are comprised, and on whom the activities implemented by the Maharati Programme will have a tremendous impact."

He voiced his pride to have built "exceptional partnerships with both UNICEF and the MoY over the years", adding "we are honoured to leverage our expertise in peacebuilding, social cohesion, and sport-based and life skills activities to help advance this programme and its ever further-reaching effects.”

Under Maharati, UNICEF and GFP will work with the MoY to implement activities that build life skills and innovative sports-based activities to foster social cohesion, the GFP representative said, stressing that the programme seeks to "promote lasting positive behaviour-change through a sustained series of activities which will run through December 2018". 

Speaking at the event, the minister of Youth stated: “We are excited to see and play a role in the expansion of the Maharati Programme as the partnership between UNICEF, GFP and the ministry truly scales the effects of social cohesion, life skills and peacebuilding among youth to a nationwide level, benefitting young people at all youth community centres across the Kingdom.”

In addition to those directly involved in Maharati, the programme’s life skills and sports for peace activities are expected to have an indirect impact on some 150,000 additional youth and adolescents, a GFP official said.

Expressing UNICEF's happiness to be part of this initiative and of the partnership with the ministry and GFP, Jenkins said: “Vulnerable young people should be provided with pathways and opportunities to help them unleash their untapped potentials.” 

GFP is a Jordan-based NGO founded by HRH Prince Feisal with the aim of promoting sustainable peacebuilding and conflict transformation through sport, arts, advocacy, dialogue and empowerment, according to its website.

It was recently ranked 30th in the “Top 500 NGOs in the World” for 2018 by NGO Adviser and is the second-highest ranked peacebuilding NGO in the world. It is also the number one Jordanian NGO on the list. 

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