EMPOWER 2013 Youth Conference, Doha, Qatar

In celebration of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation campaign, Reach Out to Asia (ROTA) and the Qatar Foundation invited Earth Charter International’s Youth Coordinator, Nora Mahmoud to facilitate a workshop on “Developing a Water Campaign” at their 5th annual EMPOWER youth conference on Personal Leadership, Service Learning and Global Citizenship. Over 350 youth participants from the neighboring Gulf countries as well as the MENA region and the United Kingdom attended.

The objective of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation is to raise awareness, both on the potential for increased cooperation, and on the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services. This year’s EMPOWER youth conference was intended to serve as a platform for youth from around the Arab region, as well as from the UK, to develop their own campaigns addressing specific issues that are threatening their future, placing a big focus on water shortage.

One of the ways in which participants engaged and learned throughout the three day conference was by participating in a campaigning workshop, led by Nora Mahmoud, in which they developed a clear-cut campaign strategy that can be implemented and followed up on upon their return to their schools, universities, and/or communities. The ultimate goal was to equip and enable youth to be responsible global citizens, and the Earth Charter was presented as an ethical framework to help guide this process. One of the ways in which it was envisioned to do this was to develop a platform that will serve as a space where everyone can share, dialogue, and continue to build upon the implementation of their campaign action projects after the participants return to their countries. This was indeed established at the end of the conference and the next steps to continue to engage the participants in a follow-up webinar, hosted by Earth Charter are underway!