By Meriem Djanati.
Chaouki Adjerid and Rachid Kamel Dikhai started volunteering abroad as teenagers through an Algerian association which gave them the chance to participate in many activities and events in Algeria and abroad for many years. Although they both learned from the youth association they were part of, they believed that it only gave the youth the chance to learn but not the opportunity to be involved in the decision making and to make their own initiatives within it. The foundation of Educated Youth Society (EYS) lays in the idea of these two men; the co-founder and current president Chaouki Adjerid, and the current Secretary General Rachid kamel Dikhai. After a deep reflection about the capacity of the Algerian youth to contribute in the society, to represent the country abroad, and the necessity of promoting the volunteering spirit and teamwork in Algeria, they decided to create a national organization. Moreover, they want to give their country, Algeria, its deserved value and representation abroad. EYS is made by the youth and dedicated to the youth, as the average age of its founders and co-founders is 24.
Educated Youth Society is a national organization that aims to encourage the manifestation of the youth in local, national and international life, to promote tolerance and openness to the world, to dissolve preconceptions and advance awareness among young people by organizing activities of cultural and scientific nature for the benefit of the youth, supporting initiatives made by the youth as well as linking with national and international organizations and associations working in the same field and pursuing the same objectives.
The main goal of EYS is organizing tens of workcamps per year all over Algeria, but as EYS is a newly founded organization, they are organizing other activities in order to introduce youth to the organization and its principles. They are also delivering training to their members on how to organize the workcamps properly, and to represent Algeria in the best way abroad.
The main activities of EYS can be listed as below:
Giving the opportunity to the most eligible applicants to volunteer through EYS abroad.
Organizing training courses for the active members of the association, general trainings for all members, or specific trainings in the field of activity of the members within the organization.
Organizing training courses in the field of human development for young people.
Organizing training courses in scientific fields for young people. E.g Scientific lectures and guidance for high school students in the presence of lecturers who completed their university studies in various disciplines, and scientific lectures for university students attended by former students in the targeted universities.
Organizing awareness campaigns on hygiene and cleaning campaigns in cooperation with municipalities and directorates of the Algerian Ministry of Environment.
Organizing cultural & educational trips for children, in order to prepare them for taking part in Youthcamps and Workcamps afterwards.
Some of these activities and training have already been organized. In the framework of the campaign of cleanliness called by the Minister of Environment and Renewable Energies Ms. Fatima Zahra Zerouati, and under the slogan "Beach free of plastic" initiated by the Environment Directorate of Boumerdes province, Educated Youth Society started a clean-up campaign for a beach in Boumerdes city and to sensibilize holidaymakers of the need to preserve the beaches (click here). In addition to that, they organized some activities and offered gifts to children. EYS also organized a cultural and educational trip for kids to the botanical garden of Algiers Jardin d'essai, in order to raise their awareness about the environment. The kids had a rich and fun programme as they had educational activities, visited the Zoo, and the botanical gardens. On February 2019, EYS held a training session which was attended by 12 active EYS members. The subject of the training was "Market Study", at the end of the training participants were able to start and manage their own project, which was proven during the practice session. EYS’ latest activity was on the 1st of October, 2019. The vice president of the national board of EYS with a group of Boumerdes state office members and friends of the Association participated in the afforestation project organized by the Direction of Forest preservation of Boumerdes on its opening day (click here). The National Reforestation Campaign under the slogan "One Tree for Every Citizen", was organized by the local directorate of forests and took place in different places in the city of Boumerdes for over a month with the participation of youth, associations, pupils, students… etc.
The creation of EYS can be summarized in four major steps. The first step consists of the General Assembly where 29 founders representing 13 Wilayas (provinces) met in the city of Boumerdes. It was held on the 24th of December, 2017. Seven weeks later, the registration request file was accepted by the directorate of the Association life in the Algerian ministry of interior affairs and local committees. On the 26th of June, 2018 the General Secretary of the Algerian ministry of interior affairs and local committees approved Educated Youth Society as a National Algerian organization of a cultural nature. Finally, on the 17th of July, 2018 EYS President and SG received the document attesting the approval of Educated Youth Society.
During the process of implementing EYS, the founders faced some challenges. The major challenge they had and are still having is the bureaucratic issues in administrations. The president of EYS believes in four indispensable factors to overcome this issue: to have good networking and persistence, to always provide faultless documents, and to hire only impeccable members in the eyes of the administration (educational level, no justice precedents..etc)
Educated Youth Society's future plans consist of reaching more young people from all over Algeria. They are currently working on hiring members from the 48 wilayas (provinces), in addition to that they are working on inaugurating executive office boards in different regions of the country. Since EYS aims to promote tolerance, openness to the world, and to give an international positive image to their country, they also plan to organize workcamps and encourage foreigners to take part of them through volunteering.
Chaouki, the EYS’ current president, says to young people who want to start their own social startups:” I believe that everyone was created for a goal, and each one of us has to leave his stamp in this world. You have to believe in your idea, and do not let the comments of people around you refrain you even from those closest to you. If you are afraid of failure, I can tell you that to regret failing is not worse than to regret what you could have achieved but you did not dare to go for.” He adds:”Don't be discouraged by the number of times you have tried and failed, but be inspired by the number of people who have failed and bounced back.”