Sameh Initiative

In August 2020, UNESCO GCC and Yemen office and RNW Media launched “My Solution” which is a call for proposals inviting young Yemenis to submit their ideas for achieving projects that could contribute to peace building in their country. In its first cycle, 7 proposals were selected to be supported with cash prizes amounting to $2,000 USD pre initiative to achieve their objectives. Among the winners was Sameh initiative, a youth volunteer-based, women-led effort working since 2015 on peace development and conflict resolution projects. In the past years, the initiative undertook several peace building projects targeting different segments of the society among which were children, women, journalists and others.
As part of the “My Solution” project, Sameh initiative was able to train a new youth generation of peace builders and spread awareness among the youth on the importance of supporting peace building efforts. The first activity involved expanding Sameh’s volunteer’s pool by 20 young women and men, aged between 18 and 24 years old, who were trained for 3 days on the basics of peace building and conflict resolution. The hands-on capacity building activity also involved practical components and a transfer of knowledge from the older generation of volunteers to the new one.
Expanding the new initiative and adding more volunteers felt more like infusing fresh blood into the initiative. The younger generation of volunteers have been really active and eager to do activities.
Amani, Director of Sameh initiative

Subsequent to the training, the newly trained volunteers were assigned roles such as treasurer, project manager, photographer, and were asked to work together to create peace related projects, with the guidance of the older volunteers. This allowed the new team to build a concrete peace related proposal which was later successfully funded by another local initiative.

The older team of initiative and the newer one work in harmony. More interestingly, they compete to outperform one another. I believe this will bring me one step to achieving my dream of founding a peace youth-led organization.
Amani, Director of Sameh initiative

The second activity involved launching a social media campaign on Facebook which featured youth who presented peace related quotes. The goal of the campaign was to expand conversations around peace topics. Out of the 30 posters shared, half of them involved youth volunteers and the other half featured lawyers and renown community figures from different Yemeni governorates. The posts received positive interactions from Yemeni youth, with each post engaging with around 900 to a thousand individuals and reaching over 7,000. Additionally, Sameh initiative aimed to reach a younger audience, 14 to 18 years old, to encourage them to think and support peace related topics, by collaborating with a writer to create a booklet featuring 3 illustrated stories.

I insisted to target younger audience with the goal of counter-fighting the wrong narrative of youth’s role in the conflict. Those teens are the drivers of change. They will soon be young adults with some of them assuming influential roles among the youth. It crucial they have the prospective of peace instilled in them. The booklet will hopefully help achieve this goal.
Amani, Director of Sameh initiative

The topics covered in the booklet, which will be electronically distributed, include awareness on the importance of rejecting discrimination, promoting community collaborations, supporting gender equality and women education.


Amani, director of the initiative, explained that by participating in “My Solution” they were able attract a new generation of volunteers to support their projects and train them to become peace builders, by expanding their team from 25 to 45 individuals. By providing guidance and support while allowing enough space for independence and creativity, Amani noticed that the newly joiners were very enthusiastic to launch peace building efforts and contribute to making a positive change in their society.

I was really proud to see the newer team already enthusiastic to make change by approaching newer opportunities and proposing activities for them.
Amani, Director of Sameh initiative

Sameh initiative was also able to achieve another goal which is increasing their visibility to facilitate spreading awareness on peace building efforts in the society and among the youth, an indicator of success was the growth by more than a double of the number of followers on their Facebook page. Amani highlighted that the prize greatly contributed to Sameh’s sustainability plan and placed them steps closer to reaching a greater goal of becoming an established organization.


To know more about Sameh initiative:

This initiative is part of the United Nation Peace Building funded project “Empowering Yemeni youth towards peace: ensuring access to information and participation”, UNESCO and RNW Media are currently implementing in Yemen.The 18-months project aims to empower young Yemenis in support of the Peacebuilding process in Yemen. The project, in its primary objective, commits to making the peace-building process more inclusive and participatory, thereby providing young Yemenis with safe spaces of dialogue and participation. This also contributes to strengthening youth engagement.