Rahma Sghaier MENA Leaders For Change Program, 2013

MENA Leaders for Change (MLC) is an innovative regional leadership online State Department-sponsored program. The program combined online training with face-to-face workshops in order to create a cadre of skilled, connected, emerging young leaders (aged 18-35) from all across the MENA region. The intensive, fast-paced program included two online courses, ongoing online dialogues and periodic face-to-face workshops. The top students were selected to participate in a final conference in Jordan to discuss cooperation and develop projects to promote positive change throughout the region.  

“The program was the starting point of my journey in using technology and social media as a tool of social change and peace-building. It inspired me to be more active in the Young Leaders community, to empower young students to explore their talent in writing, photography or filming, to tell their stories and create opportunities to meet face-to-face and share a learning experience. If I want to describe the most valuable gain I have acquired in one word, I would simply say: hope.

Upon my return to Tunisia, I’ve been coordinating the Tunisian chapter of the Young Leaders community and collaborating with the Information Resource Center at the U.S. Embassy and Tunisian associations to bring different speakers to share their experiences in video-making, women’s empowerment, interfaith dialogue, social media activism, citizen journalism and social entrepreneurship…

I was named by the British newspaper, The Guardian, as one of Africa’s top 10 tech emerging talents for advocating for international peace and promoting citizen journalism. As for my future plans, I am teaming up with a number of motivated international and national activists to find funding to train a group of young Tunisian women in video-making and citizen journalism.”

Rahma Sghaier