2020 Online JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference Highlights New Partnerships and Celebrates Award Winners

Organized by Executive Vice President Asha Auckloo and the Africa and the Middle East Board of Directors, with help from volunteers across the area, the JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference was held 14-16 August. This was the last of JCI’s Area Conferences in 2020. Once again, this dynamic team proved that we don’t have to be in the same room to connect with each other and enhance our skills. 

Pre-conference events included a Leadership Academy and Entrepreneurship Training. The Africa and the Middle East Conference also focused on the power of partnerships. The Regional Partnership Summit was launched, and a special networking session was held by JCI’s newest partner, BNI.

As with our other 2020 Area Conferences, the JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference was memorable and engaging – a testament to the bonds JCI members share, even virtually. If you’re looking for more content and networking opportunities, registration for the first ever hybrid JCI World Congress will be opening soon!

Festivities concluded with the 2020 Africa and the Middle East Conference Award Ceremony. Here are all of the honorees!

Members

Most Outstanding New Member

Sahar Helaoui

JCI Monastir, Tunisia

Joining JCI Monastir in 2019, Sahar became an active participant in projects quickly and without hesitation. She engages in several responsibilities in JCI at the local or national level. At the local level, her willingness to learn encouraged her to participate in most of the chapter activities and prompted her to take on a leadership role where she managed a “JCI Entrepreneur” project in collaboration with government stakeholders in Monastir. Her passion for mentorship led to her involvement as a local adviser of awards cases and led to two awards won! Always sharing her knowledge and guidance with others, Sahar became a certified trainer by international coaches and she has given various training courses to many members. By being the director of the “JCI Entrepreneur” project led by her local organization, she was able to obtain sponsorships and ensure important partnerships for this project with the right direction and management of resources. Her dedication and passion for JCI has made her an incredible addition to the Local Organization and her leadership will only grow in the years to come!

Most Outstanding Member

Chrisinta Chavrimootoo
JCI City Plus, Mauritius
As Local Vice President Chrisinta has worked to build and maintain the JCI City Plus brand and image through her passion and dedication to her fellow members. Her goals of increasing chapter visibility for the chapter were accomplished by using social media platforms actively and publishing newsletters with more in-depth articles. A social media campaign was also organized to encourage young people to vote during the general elections in Mauritius. Her active engagement in increasing membership led to 15 new aspiring members and the creation of a mentorship program. Hosting the 2019 JCI Africa and the Middle East Conference, Chrisinta provided support to members of her local organization for the setting up workshops hosted by the Indian Ocean Commission, one of the main partners of the conference. Working to support many chapter projects like “I am Differently Abled” Project, “Back to Life” project, and a social media campaign #Anoualvoter to encourage young people to vote, Chrisinta shows her support for active leadership and dedication as a member of JCI. She is an amazing testament to the power of brotherhood of man and collaboration to make real and lasting change. 

Most Outstanding Local President
Karishma Ansaram
JCI Curepipe, Mauritius

Described by her fellow JCI members as having the “secret recipe” for leadership, Karishm has worn the cape of a friend, mentor, facilitator, strategist and team player in her organization. Her leadership ingredients lay in her ability to build a friendly environment while also fostering responsibility and accountability amongst members. During her year as Local President of JCI Curepipe, she has made it her mission to get to know and engage each member of her local organization in projects and events which led to zero-member turnover in 2019 and 90% engagement on projects. She has been an active mentor to new members joining JCI Curepipe and project directors have always had her unwavering support. At the national level, Karishma has offered her help as facilitator and ensured that support is offered on national projects. Helping to lead one of the youngest boards in JCI Curepipe history, Karishma has been strategic in her approach, equipping board members with tools that help them in their roles, constantly reviewing the responsibilities of each board member to ensure they have the empowerment they need to help the organization thrive. She is a wonderful leader and mentor to all and showcases the morals and values of good leadership that make JCI strong. 

Organizations

Most Outstanding New Local Organization

JCI IBADAN ELITE

JCI Nigeria

JCI Ibadan Elite focused on three main themes to accomplish their goals. They worked hard to prioritize their impact in areas of education, empowerment and environment. Members hosted an Adopt a School project, created an Elite Club for mentorship and impacted many students in the community. They helped run an Elite Business Masterclass for the community and held training sessions for members and guests regularly. To help promote the environment, local organizations partnered with eleven other organizations to educate residents of communities on waste management, environmental sanitation and converting waste to wealth. Focusing on building strong partnerships, developing great programs and promoting inclusive membership, this organization is an amazing testament to the values of JCI around the world. 

Most Outstanding Local Organization

JCI Curepipe

JCI Mauritius

In 2019, JCI Curepipe had one of the youngest boards in history, a true testament to the empowerment of young people that makes JCI unique. They challenged themselves to successfully implement projects as well as motivate members to be engaged in the organization. Hosting the 2019 JCI Africa and Middle East Conference gave members a chance to take on leadership roles and grow in their own personal development. Members have been able to contribute to nine different committees. With many projects, awards and innovations happening, members of JCI Curepipe show dedication to all the values and morals that make JCI strong. They were able to host six new project directors that took great initiative, host trainings, organize a sports club, mentoring program and present on volunteerism at the Amity University Mauritius. Members of JCI Curepipe should be proud of their dedication to creating positive change as young people in the world. 

Projects and Programs

Best Inter-Organization Collaboration Project

National Presidents Meeting of Africa and the Middle East

JCI Beirut, Lebanon

The JCI National Presidents Meeting is an important annual event for JCI leaders. On this occasion, National Presidents and Board Members gather, exchange ideas and establish an action plan for the growth and development of their respective region. JCI Lebanon had the honor of hosting the National Presidents Meeting of Africa and the Middle East in Beirut on 23-25 January 2020. Accordingly, JCI delegates from approximately 25 countries traveled to Lebanon to participate. Partnering with many stakeholders to make this event a success, members focused on open communication with JCI world headquarters as well as working with the ESA business school to utilize their space free of charge. The COC team offered wonderful support to the international JCI chapters in attendance, from visa assistance to flight suggestions and even ensuring dietary requirements. This collaboration between organizations both in Lebanon and around the region led to a successful event for all!

Best Local Peace Project

CAMPAGNE DE SENSIBILISATION SUR LA PAIX ET LA COHESION SOCIALE

JCI Abidjan Elite, Cote d’Ivoire

Faced with a history of violent civil wars, Cote d’Ivoire continues to have conflicts between different ethnicities and community groups in their country. These intense conflicts have led to a fragile reconciliation that JCI Abidjan Elite has observed and wished to bring awareness and peace to the forefront of community minds. This prompted members of JCI Abidjan Elite to organize an awareness campaign on peace and social cohesion in the city of Issia for two months from December to February, campaigning to create strong alliances between different ethnic divides. The campaign promoted agreements signed between the ancestors of different peoples, allowing them to have disagreements without the risk of being attacked. The campaign aligns with acting for peace by hosting conferences, monthly meetings, and appointing peace ambassadors to the community. The role of peace ambassadors is to send a message of peace to the various communities of the city of Issia in view of the peaceful elections in 2020.

Best Local Community Empowerment Program

Training and Leadership Academy

JCI Universitaire Ouaga Soleil, Burkina Faso

Facing strong issues of unemployment for students who have graduated from University and those who have not, members of JCI Universitaire Ouaga Soleil decided to take action. One way to approach the complex issue of unemployment was to develop ways for young people to become more active in leadership. As JCI members, we know that leadership and active citizenship are key elements of human development and improving the living conditions of the community through the collective action of everyone, which will spark change. To help address these issues in the community, members developed the Academy of Formation and Leadership, 2019 Edition with the theme of Strengthening our Leadership. This academy session was aimed at encouraging and motivating students to adopt new pathways towards social responsibility and providing them real tools to help train them in knowledgeable leadership tactics. This academy is a true testament to the dedication of members in Burkina Faso, focusing on providing development opportunities to young people in their local community.

Best Local Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program

CSR

JCI Homs, Syria

After conducting a study of local society, members of JCI Homs discovered the lack of accountability in business on issues regarding social responsibility in the community. Members decided to introduce the concept of social responsibility to local business and entrepreneurs as a way to create new relationships with young people and promote growth in the job market in the years after crises in Syria. JCI Homs held a business conference towards promoting social responsibility for companies, the first of its kind in Homs Government. The conference was held on a Saturday in October at the Chamber of Industry Headquarters with participation from a number of businesspeople and managers of civil societies and organizations in addition to a number of interested youth. Over 150 attendees came together to discuss the concept of social responsibility and the laws that regulate it, the role of human resources management in applying corporate social responsibility, the role of marketing management in applying corporate social responsibility, and the concept of corporate social responsibility in the perspective of social systems.

Best Local Economic Development Program

L’agrobusiness pour la securité alimentaire

JCI Ouaga Golden, Burkina Faso

Realizing the need for more training in agro-business opportunities in Burkina Faso, members of JCI Ouaga Golden decided to create a way to train over 100 young people in agro-business expertise.  They provided participants with basic tools for entrepreneurship in agriculture, breeding and processing as well as creating opportunities for project leaders to meet financing structures, and implementing frameworks for exchanges on agribusiness subjects in Burkina Faso. Some of the takeaways from the project included an increase in local agricultural consumption, job creation and entrepreneurship and even the implementation of an incubator in the agrifood sector for the benefit of the rural community in general. This amazing project brought together different community stakeholders to create new opportunities in agriculture for the whole community and local economy. 

Best Local Global Goals Project

Planting of 2000 Endemic Aloe Plants

JCI Curepipe, Mauritius

Known as a global biodiversity hotspot, the beautiful nation of Mauritius has unique biodiversity and many indigenous species. However, the island is suffering from extreme losses of habitat as a result of deforestation and land degradation. Recognizing the need for conservation of these precious ecosystems, members of JCI Curepipe created the project Planting of 2000 Endemic Aloe Plants to contribute towards combating climate change and raising awareness about the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss among the general public. Preserving the Aloe plant in Mauritius will help to protect the environment and promote more ecological conversation around the world. This project aligned with the UN sustainable development goals towards climate action and life on Earth. This project also fell in line with the national strategy towards conserving medicinal plants and promoting knowledge of their traditional uses in Mauritius. In collaboration with JCI Mauritius, Compagnie de Mont Choisy Ltee and Project de societe all worked together to create this large scale project, an initiative to address current ecological issues and to build a greener Mauritius. 

Best Local Growth & Development Program

Voice it Out

JCI Tartus, Syria

Under the Peace Makers campaign, members of JCI Tartus created the Voice it Out project to provide the youth the opportunity to showcase their potential and talents. The project started with focused group discussions between the youth and their parents, where members focused on the aspects of raising a talent and developing it further, to provide young people with the stage and the platform to show how they can be responsible, make big life decisions, and ultimately become role models to those who haven’t yet discovered their talent. The second phase of the program involved a public speaking workshop for both the parents and the participants. In addition, the youth showcased their talents, starting with public speaking skills, robotics, basketball, music, poetry, interviews, expressive dancing and ended with a debate showdown. The final gathering and performance allowed the youth to showcase their experiences to the local community. A community effort, this local program works hard to help motivate development for youth in the community of Tartus.

Best Local Skills Development Program

Entilaqati

JCI Homs, Syria

Noticing a need for more awareness about decent jobs and quality education for youth in their community, members of JCI Homs created the project Entilaqati to help provide practical experience and partnerships for youth. Entilaqati project was an effort undertaken by JCI Homs to counter the hardening situation of economical difficulties and the lack of opportunities for the graduates in the city. It was important for members to take on the responsibility of helping young graduates to enter the professional world and help stimulate the economy. The project lasted for two weeks and underwent four stages, from registration, evaluation and acceptance of students, to training courses, interview prep and resume help. Specialized training for areas like civil engineering, architecture, chemistry, economy, pharmacy and even engineering took place, with the completion of the project happening when partners and participants met to receive certificates and offers of practical training grants to help them learn more skills! Overall, this project involved the whole community to create a strong skills development program for young people to promote personal growth.

Best Long-term Community Program

Sidi Ammar “Restoration” 

JCI Sayada, Tunisia

Members of JCI Sayada are making a positive impact on their community by helping families restore their homes who otherwise would not be able to afford repairs. Working hard to preserve the heritage of the city and the traditions of the inhabitants, members helped to transform the old quarter into a tourist destination. Working alongside the authorities of the Sayada city, members saw the condition of “Sidi Ammar” district was terrible and needed major restoration. So they took the initiative and we started the project which led to the redevelopment and painting of the “Sidi Ammar” district. The work has reached all the houses, the mosque and the old caves, and they achieved a radical change. Helping to rebuild the community they share is a testament to the hard work of JCI Sayada members and their investment in helping grow a positive change in the community! 

Most Outstanding Local Project

Entilaqati

JCI Homs, Syria

Noticing a need for more awareness about decent jobs and quality education for youth in their community, members of JCI Homs created the project Entilaqati to help provide practical experience and partnerships for youth. Entilaqati project was an effort undertaken by JCI Homs to counter the hardening situation of economical difficulties and the lack of opportunities for the graduates in the city. It was important for members to take on the responsibility of helping young graduates to enter the professional world and help stimulate the economy. The project lasted for two weeks and underwent four stages, from registration, evaluation and acceptance of students, to training courses, interview prep and resume help. Specialized training for areas like civil engineering, architecture, chemistry, economy, pharmacy and even engineering took place, with the completion of the project happening when partners and participants met to receive certificates and offers of practical training grants to help them learn more skills! Overall, this project involved the whole community to create a strong skills development program for young people to promote personal growth.

Best National Flagship Program

I AM NAIJA CAMPAIGN

JCI Ibadan Elite, Nigeria

In order to highlight advocacy and encourage and promote integration, fostering peace, tolerance and respect for our differences, The I AM NAIJA campaign was introduced by the 2020 President for unity in diversity in line with the 2020 JCI Nigeria Theme “Impact Through Diversity.” This campaign addressed four main issues: promoting national identity, encouraging tolerance and respect, promoting integration and inclusiveness and speaking up for the things that unite us all as human beings. A sense of togetherness brings all Nigerian people into the same conversation and this project helped to address key issues that have been agitating several regions in Nigeria. Through this campaign members of JCI Ibadan Elite have better appreciation of working together without building walls around ethnicity, religion, gender and educational background and are able to also pass the same message to youths around the country.

Best National Growth & Development Program

JCI Nigeria International Youth Day Programme 2019

JCI Warri, Nigeria

International Youth Day, an annual program to highlight engaging young people in the community, took place in 2019 with the theme “Transforming Education: Rethinking the Present.” The theme helped to bring together stakeholders across the private and public sectors and especially youth who make up the largest demographic in Nigeria, to have the important conversations necessary for the growth of the country. These conversations included topics about how education creates safe spaces for Nigeria’s youth, deconstructing Nigeria’s present effort at attaining equitable and inclusive education and presenting new solutions to ensure education works for all and the society at large. With over 550 members involved, it was an incredible effort by members of JCI Warri to gather youth together, mostly non JCI members to speak and learn about education for over eight hours. Members of JCI Warri should be proud of bringing together young people to start thinking about ways they can make their voices heard and knowing that JCI can provide that platform for them.