Youth and Development Consultancy Institute (Etijah) is a specialized institute in developing, improving and disseminating development methodologies in the field of youth and community development. Based in Cairo, the institute was founded in 2006 and registered on August 16th, 2006 (registration No. 6638), under the Egyptian Law No. 84/2002 on Non-Governmental Organizations.
Etijah’s primary concern is to create and tailor up-to-date and high-quality development methodologies,research tools, applicable practices of youth development and training delivery models, to be able to qualify youth by providing them with the skills, know-how and aptitudes, as well as contribute in building the capacity of governmental and non-governmental youth-serving organizations. Our role is to provide youth with direct access to unconditional participation by providing them with practical tools and models for developing community-wide initiatives.
Realizing this dream requires creating and tailoring special educational curriculum, pre-service trainings and seminars, job trainings, local and national accredited systems and programs as well as mentoring programs to offer to all people of interest. This in turn leads to the development of the different sectors and spheres them to be social, economic, cultural, or health related, etc… in Egypt and the entire Arab world in a manner that complies with our cultures and traditions.
“Youth”or persons ranging between 15 and 30 years old are our definite target. Etijah considers youth to be the most vital asset a country could have which specifically applies to the Arab world, where youth make up more than half of its population. It also perceives youth to be community builders instead of a burden on a community’s shoulders, as often misapprehended; they truly are the ones with all the answers.
Youth workers are another targeted group, taking into consideration the critical role played by the cadre of youth worker who directly communicate with young people. Since most of the youth workers in Egypt entered the profession without solid formal education and training, and most of the knowledge, experience and skills were acquired on the job practicing which can often negatively affect the implementation of projects and services; Recognizing this reality, Etijah aims to serve as a consultancy institute that develops and enhances this professional cadre in Egypt and the Arab world.
Etijah also works with governmental and non-governmental youth-serving organizations on building their capacity through enhancing and dispersing development methodologies, which further empowers those organizations; enables them to maximize their abilities to better serve youth in a proficient manner; as well as ensure the sustainability of their programs to cultivate development efforts in Egypt and the Arab world. In doing so, these organizations can better serve youth in a skillful and competent approach as well as support a professional and safe environment for the development of young people in Egypt.
“Etijah enhances understanding and the valuing of youth as one of the most important assets a country could have, out of reinforcing and promoting purposed and effective methodologies that is conveyed withArabic culture especially in the community and youth development aspect”
Etijah’s objectives lie in building the capacity of governmental and non-governmental youth-serving organizations so that Etijah could provide a professional and safe context for youth development in Egypt. The importance of providing other NGOs with different kind of assistance including the technical assistance, lies in the impact offostering strong partnership of those organizations with youth, and how they could transform youth from being beneficiaries into being effective actor in their communities which reflects directly on the efficiency of the partner NGOs.
“Etijah considers practical means for youth development”
Etijah is working to promote and facilitate an equitable society in which all members (individuals, families and communities) have an equal opportunity to participate in building the social, political and economic infrastructure of Egypt. Etijah’s projects are geared towards creating an environment, in which all community members have the opportunity for advancement and to improve the quality of life for themselves, their families and the subsequent society.
Etijah is working to create a more just and equitable Egypt in which all marginalized communities have the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives, their communities and their future generations. Etijah places heavy emphasis on the patterns, values and methods used to approach youth and youth-serving NGOs in Egypt as well as bridge the gaps in the community.
Etijah believes that youth have been significantly marginalized in Egypt (and the broader Middle-East), lacking access to decision-making processes and procedures. Etijah also believes that youth have been disenfranchised because of restrictive opportunities to development of education, opportunities for economic well-being, employment opportunities and opportunities for relevant trainings on applied skills. In addition, Etijah believes youth are entitled to having a voice within Egypt and full freedom of exercising their civic rights as citizens (and as members and participants in their local communities) to influence public policies and actions, and have equitable access to the use of public and private resources with the capacity to lead and implement local initiatives.
Etijah’s values strongly tie the theoretical perspective and discourse of development to the real needs and problems of communities across Egypt. The core values of respect, integrity, freedom, equality, trust, loyalty and cooperation govern Etijah’s relationships with partners (i.e. organizations, donors, youth participants, members, youth workers) within the implemented projects and initiatives. Etijah strongly believes in and advocates for social inclusion of disenfranchised and under-represented groups that span across the social stratifications of race, sex, gender, age and religion.
Etijah’s projects are designed to primarily empower youth by targeting three main groups: youth, youth workers and youth-serving organizations. Youth, defined as persons between the ages of 15 and 30 years, are seen as pivotal members of the community. Etijah considers youth to be the most vital asset a country could have especially in the Arab world, where youth make up more than half of its population.
Second, Etijah works on providing youth workers with education and training giving them the tools necessary to work effectively with youth. Today, most youth workers in Egypt enter the profession without formal education and training, and their knowledge, experience and skills are acquired on the job practicing which can often negatively affect the implementation of projects and services; Recognizing this reality, Etijah aims to serve as a consultancy institute that develops and enhances this professional cadre in Egypt and the Arab world.
Third, Etijah works with governmental and non-governmental youth-serving organizations on building their capacity through enhancing and dispersing development methodologies, which further empowers these organizations and enables them to maximize their abilities to better serve youth in a proficient manner as well as ensure the sustainability of their programs. In doing so, these organizations can better serve youth by supporting a professional and safe environment for the development of young people in Egypt and the broader Middle East.
Etijah’s team is comprised of experienced, professional development practitioners with many years of experience in various disciplines of development, especially those related to youth development and civic engagement, development of research methodologies and community development approaches.
The staff possesses a wide experience in approaching local communities, and identifying the assets and needs in the community. Though local communities in Egypt share some common characteristics, needs and challenges, still they vary in many other aspects, especially those related to the assets and resources. Interacting with these different challenges, characteristics and assets enhanced the research and analytical skills of the team, and deepened its sense with the development requirements and challenges in local communities.
Currently, Etijah owns a set of research tools and forms that greatly assist in drawing a fully clear picture of local communities. However, room for more modification and innovation in this regard always exists. The staff is also experienced in designing and adopting development methodologies that are tailored to suit the backgrounds, challenges and cultures of the Egyptian local communities.