A group of young volunteers from Aden formed local development committees in the districts of Dar Sa’ad and Sirah in order to prepare development plans at local level. The initiative aims at prioritizing and addressing problems at these district as part of activating community participation.
Approximately 50 young men and women from these two districts formed this initiative following two training workshops on strategic planning skills carried out by Studies and Economic Media Center (SEMC) and under the auspices of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) during the period from 23 Feb. to 6 March 2019
“I am proud to participate in the training workshop and to be a member of the development committee that will serve our local areas,” said Samah Al-Kaissi , one of the participants. “We will do our best to work as one team in order to identify the needs of our district and respond to these needs in partnership with the local authorities, she added”
In a meeting with the chairmanship of the local development team, the general director of Sirah District Mr. Khaled Sidwa expressed the local authority readiness to provide all means of support and encouragement for the formed committees, adding that they will work with the committees as partners in order to serve the district.
In five days of intensive training, the participants produced a primary draft of the development plans in order to discuss it with representatives of local authorities and executive offices as well as local actors and experts and improve it.
“We learned many required tools for starting the initiative on the ground including the preparation of development plans for Sirah district,” said Mr. Islam AlKadhi , the head of the Local Development Committee. “The next steps will not be easy but we have great faith to improve the situation in the district and finding practical solutions,” he added.
The participants in the training identified the most important needs in different sectors including health, education, security and water.
“The education sector suffers from real problems and we have to work together to come up with solutions to these issues, said Mr Mohammed Qaid , the Director of Education Office in Dar Sa’ad and one of the participants in the training. “We are witnessing a decline in the level of education output which we were proud of in the past. We must work together to find solutions to all these problems,” he added.
For his part, the project manager Mr. Mohamed Ismail said that the formation and capacity building of the development committees in these two districts is part of a program that aims at building the capacities of 100 young leaders forming four development committees in the governorates of Taiz and Aden. The program also includes the creation of community forums under the slogan ” Together towards development and community participation”, which will allow local communities to report on their needs and problems and contribute to finding solutions. The program will also include the implementation of local initiatives to respond to the emergency needs in Yemen, added Mr. Ismail.
The selection of the local development committees’ members was subjected to a number of transparent procedures including advertisement and screening according specific criteria, most notably the full readiness of the candidate for community work in addition to previous experience in the same field.