Libya Youth Center

Libya Youth Center

Tripoli, LibyaAustria
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Libya Youth Center was initiated by OMV to offer the prospect of a more carefree future to children and adolescents who have suffered from acts of war and their consequences in Libya. The primary goal of the center is to enable young people to work through their experiences with professional support.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

After the end of 42 years of harsh authoritarian regime, the Libyan citizens are now facing a crucial transition towards a democratic state where the people are the source of authority. The Libya Youth Center (in Tripoli, Libya) was initiated by OMV to offer the prospect of a more carefree future to children and adolescents who have suffered from acts of war and their consequences in Libya. The primary goal of the center is to enable young people to work through their experiences with professional support

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

OMV and Hilfswerk Austria International worked closely with the National Transitional Council and local stakeholders during the project planning and implementation phase, and, after 24 months, the center will be handed over to the Libyan authorities, who will continue to run it. Since spring 2012, the psycho-social center has acted as a drop-in center for distressed children and adolescents between the ages of six and 25. Six international and up to 50 Libyan experts and volunteers are working at the center to provide the best-possible support and therapy to all visitors. In addition, psycho-therapeutic counseling and support, leisure and outdoor activities and educational programs are provided, with a particular emphasis placed on the inclusion of parents and families. Moreover, mobile teams carry out educational work in schools, hospitals and local community centers to help those affected overcome any inhibitions and fears.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

As there are only a few relevant institutions of this kind in Tripoli, the need for psychosocial support is particularly high. Over 600 children and adolescents are currently being given counseling and support and to increase this number further, training and education will be offered to local volunteers who are active in the social sector. The goal is to give support to around 1,200 children and adolescents in the next two years. These general figures should be underlined with an example: Anas, an 11 year old beneficiary of the center. Back in April 2012 he pictured himself as a revolutionary and expressed proud for being responsible for the death of a person he shot in his forehead. Involved in the centers activities he was at the beginning obviously intentionally negatively affecting the group. After only one month he was very calm, active and happy when given attention and positive encouragements. He is now more outgoing and relaxed and does not miss any day at the center. The nature of the task (first youth center of its kind in Tripoli) as well as the circumstances (post-revolution) demanded and still demands full resourcefulness from all team members involved. The key factor was the combination of a fully fledged project management with the necessary sensitivity and experience to react quickly on daily challenges and opportunities. Regarding the day-to-day creativity in the center please see our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Libya-Youth-Center/241157739311357
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The Libya Youth Center is the only institution of its kind in Tripoli.
Team

Founding Story

The most moving moment was, when I saw for the first time Anas' drawing. We ask him: "Draw something you like!". And he pictured himself as a revolutionary and expressed proud for being responsible for the death of a person he shot in his forehead. The fact that we could help him express this, was already a success for me. Any moved me a lot after all the hard work it took to set up the center within the very demanding and fragile security situation
About You
About You
First Name

Richard

Tell us about yourself/your team.

My Mission as Community Relations Manager at OMV: Maintain license to operate through transparent, honest and reliable relations with our communities worldwide

What makes you an intrapreneur? What are the skills, capabilities, and personality traits that make you an intrapreneur?

- Keen sense of cultural differences due to the ability to successfully manage international community development and IT projects in sensitive regions (e.g. Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Pakistan, and Yemen)
- Excellent communication, presentation and representation skills gained while working in an international business environment for over fifteen years
- Ability to perform under stress as a result of working, studying and raising a family simultaneously

About Your Organization
Company Country

, WIE

Primary country where this project is creating social impact

, TL, Tripoli

Additional countries or regions
Industry

Other

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Innovation
Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)

The Solution: Why is this solution innovative for your company and industry?

Speaking about the Libya Youth Center, OMV CEO, Gerhard Roiss, said: “True partners prove themselves during times of crisis. We have a responsibility towards the citizens of Libya as well as to our local staff. Just as we continued to pay our local employees during times of unrest even though production was halted, we are now helping the younger generation to overcome their fears and carry the hope of a better future.”

Impact
What has been the impact of your solution to date?

We have directly reached over 600 people. If you count our outreach and train-the-trainer (we train social workers at public schools) the figure is far beyond 1400.

What is your projected impact over the next 1 to 3 years?

We want to help young Libyans to take their future in their own hands.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The fragile security situation is by far the most challenging issues. Unfortunately there is not much we directly can do about it. Although we want to show some of these young people, that weapons are not powerful. Real power comes from self-believe, self-confidence and and the freedom of expression.

Sustainability
What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?

With Resourcefulness – our concept for responsible business behavior - we seek projects addressing specific requirements and demonstrating long-term partnership, while also providing OMV with business opportunities. These opportunities can arise through developing the capability of the local communities in its broadest sense. I believe that in Libya opportunities for OMV will arise from the positive associations that anyone who is touched by the OMV Libya Youth Center might make with us, and what it demonstrates about who we are and what we stand for.

How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?

OMV will invest 2mio EUR over the course of 2 years.

Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.

In order to sustain our program we were ask by the ministry of education to work with them to do two things: 1) create the capability among the local social worker population to reach out to into the schools and take the learnings and the skills there. 2) to develop the local experts who could continue running the center after we have gone.

Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.

Internally the setup required a multi-disciplinary team (community relations, procurement, legal, communication, business operations,...) and a strong partnership with a Hilfswerk Austria International, an international relief-organization with many year of experience and extensive knowledge in just this kind of developing cooperation. Excellent stakeholder engagement with local authorities and ministries will be crucial for a sustainable handover.

What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?

I truly believe: If the meaning is clear everyones in and supportive. This is exactly what I experienced when setting up the Libya Youth Center