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Future force

February 24- March 2, 2021

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly Future force

Tomorrow’s young leaders will be offered a guiding hand with the help of leading local experts in the latest international edition of a pioneering project set up in Bahrain and to be held virtually for the first time.

They will also be tasked with coming up with suggestions to tackle environmental issues as the world focuses on Earth Day 2021 and its theme to ‘Restore Our Earth’.

Three-days of intensive, interactive workshops will be staged by the Rotary Club of Adliya (RCA), in co-operation with the Rotaract club of Bahrain starting tomorrow.

The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) 2021, now in its third year and themed ‘Agile Leadership’, is a programme targeted to help young people become real creative decision-makers in their societies, workplaces and daily lives.

From tomorrow until Saturday, 40 university students from Bahrain, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, Sudan, Armenia, Georgia, Cyprus, Egypt and Palestine will learn from community leaders, inspirational speakers and peer mentors to unlock their potential and turn their motivation into action ... all while having fun and forming lasting friendships.

“We have chosen ‘Agile Leadership’ as the theme which is a fundamental skill required in dealing with the new normal of today’s life and keeping in mind the challenges we as a society and professionals are facing,” said Dr Ali Follad, president of the RYLA 2021 organising committee, one of the founders and ex-chairman of the Rotary Club of Adliya. “The topic is also intended to develop leaders to adapt to different challenges we all face with new business, societal and environmental realities of life.

“We hope to instil not only leadership qualities in the young generation but an all-important ‘agility’ aspect to help them adapt to any situation. We believe the programme needs to be rounded-up by utilising the knowledge into a practical project. The candidates will be given an opportunity to present the practical application of the knowledge they gained during this time, on April 22, which is Earth Day.

“Overall, we hope to bring out young leaders in our country and the wider region to lead and solve problems in the future. We hope to prepare them for wide-ranging challenges and new realities that are setting due to the pandemic and other challenges faced by our society.”

Taking place via Zoom, participants will have the chance to work on their communication and problem-solving skills as well as discovering strategies for becoming a dynamic leader in their university or community.

They will also get to connect with prominent leaders and high-profile representatives of international Rotary clubs and districts.

RYLA 2021 will include brainstorming sessions, as well as activities and expert sessions with topics including ‘Ripple Effect of Self Development on Economy’ and ‘Role of Youth in Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals’.

The list of key speakers includes Dr Mohamed Mubarak bin Daina, the chief executive of the Supreme Council for Environment, and Dr Fatima Al Balooshi, the former minister of social development, Dr Simon Galpin, the senior advisor of investment promotion at Bahrain EDB, Abdulrahman Ayman, co-founder and chief growth and strategy officer of Educatly and former president at AIESEC Global, and Amal Kooheji, president nominee of RCA, managing director and founder of Human Capital Development Advisory.

The closing ceremony will host Holger Knaack, the 2020-2021 president of Rotary International, addressing the RYLA audience for the first time in Bahrain Rotary Clubs’ history, followed by launching a project focusing on Earth Day.

In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to force this issue onto the national agenda. Twenty million Americans demonstrated and it worked! The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act and it became a global movement.

Dr Ali added: “This virtual event will encourage bigger numbers of young people to transform their creative ideas into promising projects and start-ups that will hopefully have positive impacts on the economy and community development.”

For further details,  @rotaryclubofadliya on Instagram.

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