The need for support and care for children and youth in Libya could not be bigger: After 42 years at the head of the country, the leader Muammar al-Gadaffi was overthrown in October 2011 after months of violence and destruction. As part of the Arab Spring, people had placed great hopes in the aftermath - but until now the political situation is unstable. Children and youth are particularly affected by the violence they had and have to experience every day. At home children are often abused, the country is insecure and the school system is backward.
In 2012, Hilfswerk International established a psychosocial center for children and youth in Tripoli together with OMV: The Libya Youth Center (LYC). Nowadays the LYC is looked upon as a successful, sustainable development cooperation project that has been a place of self-discovery for thousands of children and youth in the politically and socially disrupted Libya.
Originally conceived as a psychosocial center, it quickly became more and more established: A place for self-discovery, intercommunion, suggestive leisure activities for several thousand children and youth aged 6 to 25 years. Beyond the center they can be reached through schools and other local institutions. In the middle of Tripoli the children and young people are offered a lot: Theatre, discussion groups, career orientation, handicraft sessions and – if required – the so important psychosocial care.
During the evaluation of the LYC, it was confirmed what the local social workers and supervisors had already known for a long time: The LYC is an incomparable enrichment for children and young people in Tripoli. Many of the interviewed children in the center said the LYC was their second home, their favorite place. Here they would learn a lot about themselves, they can now lead a better and more reflected life. Some of the children even said it was the best thing that ever happened in their lives.
The Libya Youth Center provides a perspective for a carefree future for children and young people who are particularly vulnerable to the war in Libya and its consequences.
The LYC is one of the most beautiful projects we were able to accompany. This has made an important contribution to the stability of the region and the young people.
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