Building Resilience with Tunisian and Dutch Youth in High Risk Areas

mentors at work

The program "Building Youth Resilience in Tunisia and the Netherlands” seeks to strengthen the capacities of youth (leaders) age 18-26, to contribute to resilience and human security in their community. The programme is focused on neighborhoods affected by marginalization, polarization, crime, drugs and other issues which effect the life of youth growing up in these areas. The programme recognizes the capacity and expertise of youth living in these areas, who have a unique outlook on their neighborhood, the capacity to develop innovative initiatives and be role models and mentors for their younger peers.

In this programme which HSC has developed together with local partner organizations in Tunisia and the Netherlands, youth are supported to set up their own initiatives on issues they are passionate about, strengthen their skills to listen to and empathize with their younger peers and are empowered to engage  with the wider community, policymakers and security stakeholders on their ambitions for human security in their neighborhoods. Exchanges between the youth leaders from Tunisia and the Netherlands in which they learn from each other’s way of working and gain insight in how other governments deal with security issues such as violent extremism, are an important part of the programme. 

Find a video of such an exchange here

The practices in this programme contribute to changes which the youth themselves wish to see in their communities, and can go a long way in preventing  polarization, feelings of exclusion or marginalization, and attraction to violent extremist thought.

Based on the experiences of the programme in Tunisia, Human Security Collective in partnership with Arab Institute for Human Rights developed a handbook:Time to Engage with Youth at Center Stage: The HSC approach to youth leadership on Preventing Violent Extremism

This program is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Related themes

our approach

A Human Security approach puts people at the centre of conventional state-security thinking. Traditionally, the notion of security stresses that the state is the sole guarantor of security when citizens are at risk from violence by groups, which can be extended to violence perpetrated by terrorists or violent extremists.

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inclusive leadership

To put human security into practice implies that policymakers and practitioners working on issues of development, on humanitarian aid, human rights, peace building and security directly involve citizens in their work.

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development and security

We seek to understand violent extremism (VE) as part of a broader conflict in society, that should be analyzed and approached from a conflict transformation perspective. This is a long-term approach, allowing us to understand the root causes and drivers of VE and to address them through developmental interventions.

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