Under the patronage of Ali bin Saleh Al-Saleh, Chairperson of the Shura Council, and with the European Union as a strategic partner, and The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation as a success partner, the Youth Pioneer Society launched the “Young Parliamentarian 2023” program (6th edition) with an orientation session for the participants on Tuesday 21 February. The start comes following the selection of 52 young participants after successfully passing a series of personal interviews and assessments of their leadership skills.

Patrick Simonnet, the EU Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, said “As a strategic partner of the Youth Pioneer Society, the European Union is proud to renew its support to the Young Parliamentarian program. This initiative empowers Bahraini youth to develop the necessary skills to become effective leaders and advocates for their communities, and we are thrilled to see the program’s increasing emphasis on gender inclusivity. We look forward to seeing the positive impact these young leaders will have on the Kingdom’s future.”

The Chairperson of the society, Amira mahmood drew attention the fact that the previous edition of the program since 2014 demonstrated Bahraini youth’s ability to compete globally, as evidenced by their performance during the program’s workshops; as well as the program’s being honored with the HH Princess Hissa bint Salman’s Al Khalifa prize for group voluntary youth work in 2018. She revealed a high turnout to participate in this edition, noting that this reflects the importance of the program in light of the global challenges that necessitate the involvement and empowerment of youth.

Abdullah Zada, the program coordinator clarified that the program’s first stage will include a series of training workshops covering important topics such as leadership, team-building, statecraft, critical thinking, presentation skills & pitching skills, in addition to lectures on stages in the history of democracy in Bahrain, and how to become influencer in your community. This stage will focus on endowing the participants with the requisite professional and leadership skills.

The program coordinator also indicated that the second stage will focus on applying the skills gained via field visits and roundtable sessions to discuss subjects such as media, public opinion, and legislation and statecraft. Zada confirmed that there would be three such roundtables, in addition to a simulated session of the National Council where the participants would discuss various problems and their proposed solutions.

The program will close with the Youth Pioneer Society holding its parliamentary youth forum and the closing ceremony, in addition to a group of the most distinguished participants taking part in an educational visit to Brussels – the heart of the European Union – where they will tour the European Parliament and engage with various civil society organizations.