Equipping Young Peacemakers initiative spotlight: The Mentor Initiative
written by EYP participant Salim Menaceur
I recently had the opportunity to share my initiative as part of the Equipping Young Peacemakers SDG Roundtable Series. Our conversation about “Learning Together: Context-Relevant Education” explored evidence-based work in the Middle East advancing SDG4: Quality Education.
In Algeria, education is not an area most people think of when they think about sustainability, but many people are unhappy with the quality, available options, or pedagogical approach of the educational resources available to them. One of the issues that we face in my community is that most students intend to enter employment after the completion of their studies in higher education…but their coursework and resulting qualifications may not assist them in developing the skills needed for the 21st century workplace. However, for some organized communities, there are opportunities to access after-school programs, soft skills classes and workshops, training series, and the like. These communities are more resilient and sustainable, able to adapt to global change and economic shifts.
I founded The Mentor Initiative to bring that resilience training to my community, preparing students for professional life in the global workplace. The initiative provides short-term courses that develop specific soft skills. These skills are usually not taught at local universities, but have crucial value for future careers. We also provide training about social entrepreneurship, familiarizing Algerian youth with project management and economic ventures.
In Algeria, the majority of trainings and after school programs like this are organized in big cities. They remain inaccessible to youth from remote areas, who cannot attend or afford them. The Mentor Initiative works to empower youth from remote areas, believing that everyone has a right to quality education and sustainable development. We know that more education means not only better jobs and more affluence, but also a greater sense of control over one’s life. People with more education have more choices in health, housing, careers, and their quality of life.
Our mission at The Mentor Initiative is to empower every mentee with the skills and the training they need to become impactful leaders and mentors. We have remained active during COVID-19, using educational technology designed to break away from traditional education and offer a new learning experience through interactive engagement. We would love to hear more about similar projects around the world, and encourage you to support Quality Education for all!!
For more information: