By Mohamed Shaltoot
Located in the farthest southwest of Egypt, considered to be the biggest city in Egypt in terms of space “El Wadi El Gdeed” Governorate takes up to 47% of total Egypt space while at the same time only being populated by around 260,000 person. El Wadi is divided into three major cities: “Dakhla”, “Kharga” and “Paris” cities.
We were contacted to do a workshop in December 2020. We were thrilled because it will be the first time since the project started to have any events there. The Governorate is somehow neglected by major development entities in Egypt, as we were told by more than one participant in the workshops, “If any of us want to be active in the civil society we have to travel, it’s very dull here as nothing happens, only one organization is working here which is YPeer” YPeer is active there because some of the youth from the governorate applied to get a training by the organization and then started volunteering to be the local focal point for their governorate and hence the knowledge started transferring.
Our first training was a 3 days long workshop about being in dialogue and discovering our own values. During the workshop the participants were taught about the different dialogue tools that they can use and how they integrate into the other volunteer work they do or into their own environments.
“I could sense a change in my attitude towards my family when I’m engaging in any kind of conversation with them, I became more attentive to what is being said and I started using the ‘Mirroriring tool’ extensively which has deepened my relationship with my Mum.”
Said Maysoon, one of the participants at the workshop who later became a member of the ambassadors for dialogue national team
After that another long workshop was held in early 2021 which had the same goal but for different participants where more and more people became interested in what we are doing.
This past November we held a training of facilitators for the youth from the governorate to be able to hold dialogue spaces in their own workshops, it was a Three days training focused on practically using dialogue tools and experience facilitation tools and how to hold dialogue spaces. This kind of training enables the youth there to be a bit more independent and able to hold their own meetings and small workshops using the tools and knowledge gained from our workshops.
We will continue to work there and hope to get a wider base of interested youth in the governorate and will try to work in other cities in the governorates and we hope to be able to integrate dialogue into many more lives and organizations.
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