The YaLa Academy is YaLa’s flagship program, which aims to form future regional leadership through online training and dialogue for the young generation of the Middle East and Africa. Thus far, the YaLa Academy has enrolled more than 1,700 students from Israel, Palestine and across the Arab world since its inception in 2012. Students are using web-based platforms to connect to one another and to learn key communication, peacemaking and leadership skills through programs including:

  • The Aileen Getty School of Citizen Journalism: a one-of-a-kind online training program to build the capacity of youth to tell their unique stories and elevate their voices for peace and positive change;
  • The YaLa Peace Institute in Honor of Nelson Mandela: an online peace studies program in which youth learn directly from the men and women who pioneered, implemented and sustained peace processes in South Africa, Rwanda, Ireland, the Balkans and the Middle East;
  • MENA Leaders for Change: a unique regional leadership program that took place 2012-14 in partnership with the U.S. State Department.

The Academy also works in partnership with our sister movement – YaLa Africa – both to bring localized curricula of our training programs to African students, as well as to bring the experience and know-how of African peacemakers to the young generation of the Middle East.

In all senses, the YaLa Academy is unique – from its generation of friendships across conflict lines and other key peace dividends, to its unique leveraging of social media; from its unique practitioner-led curriculum, to its 75% retention rate – there is truly no other academic institution like it in the world!

Key figures:

  • Trained youth from over 60 countries in the Middle East & Africa
  • Average age of students: 27 years old
  • Average gender breakdown: 52.5% male, 47.5% female
  • Average number of new friendships generated for each participant: 15
  • 95% of students would recommend the program to a friend!

Find out more on the YaLa Academy’s website: