2014 Programs

This was a significant year for the YaLa Academy, YaLa’s flagship program, with the completion of the first year of the Peace Institute in Honor of Nelson Mandela, the culmination of the MENA Leaders for Change program and the launch of the Citizen Journalism program.

For the latest information about our programs: www.YaLaAcademy.org

Citizen Journalism Pilot Program

In 2014, YaLa teamed up with the U.S. Institute of Peace to create a unique Citizen Journalism & New Media Program to train emerging peace and social leaders in citizen journalism social media activism.

100 young activists from across the Middle East and North Africa participated in the online training program from September 2014 to January 2015 after which the youth engaged in the creation of a co-managed new media platform: YaLa Press. The program culminated the top 12 students attending a 3-day workshop at the Dead Sea in Jordan in March 2015 – 4 Israelis, 4 Palestinian and 4 from across the North African Region participated workshops about story telling, writing, social media and more.

The program has since been scaled-up to become the Aileen Getty School of Citizen Journalism, read more here.

Peace Institute in Honor of Nelson Mandela

YaLa Academy’s Peace Institute in Honor of Nelson Mandela implemented its pilot program and first full semester during 2014. A unique, practical peace studies curriculum was created by pairing video lectures by seasoned peace practitioners from transformed conflict zones around the world with related online discussions and activities. Over 500 students from the MENA region and beyond enrolled in the summer 2014 semester.

Through the YaLa Academy website, the students participated in dynamic and insightful online lectures and discussions, which gave them the tool to create outstanding final projects where they expressed their dreams and visions of peace for the MENA region in the year 2025.

Building on the experiences of this first semester, the YaLa Peace Institute in Honor of Nelson Mandela continues to offer this unique peace studies program, find out more and sign up today at www.YaLaAcademy.org/enroll.

MENA Leaders for Change

MENA Leaders for Change (MLC) was an innovative regional leadership program of the YaLa Academy supported by the U.S. Department of State in 2013 and 2014. The program combined online training with face-to-face workshops in order to create a cadre of skilled, connected, emerging leaders from all across the MENA region.

In January 2014, YaLa kicked off the second year of the MLC program. Another group of 150 extraordinary Israeli, Palestinian and MENA youth were chosen to participate, including from Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.  As did the 2013 cohort, students from the 2014 program took two online courses to enhance their knowledge and skills for leading peace and positive change in their communities, countries and throughout the region. The intensive, fast-paced program combined this online training with ongoing online dialogues and periodic face-to-face workshops. Excelling students were selected to participate in a final conference to discuss cooperation and develop projects to promote positive change throughout the region. Find out more on www.YaLaAcademy.org.