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The International Institute of Debate is a non-profit, whose mission is to develop next generation of civic leaders, activists and change agents by giving young people the opportunity to actively participate in the political process. By opening up spaces for democratic education and youth participation in schools and government, we strive to prioritize the needs of low-income youth and under-resourced schools and regions.

In 2013, IIDebate began as a small pilot program with an all-volunteer staff running in different debate competitions and engagement projects in four different Tunisian Regions. Two years later, IIDebate has grown this strategy of real-life democracy education into five robust “Action Civics” programs that serve 120 high school students engaging teachers and decision makers into our process.

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Our main program areas lead by youth policymaking, and youth community problem solving teach young people civic knowledge and leadership skills while transforming their attitudes about political participation. These programs focus on helping young people achieve success in schools, in their careers, and in life.

Since IIDebate opened its doors, nearly 3000 students have participated in our programs, more then 1000 hours of training delivered. Our alumni are managing more active community leaders. Our alumni attest to the success of our hands-on approach to developing active, life-long civic and professional leaders. We are proud to now be one of the strongest and most innovative youth development and civic education organizations in the city, with lasting impacts on the personal and civic development of Tunisian youth and on how local schools and government incorporate young people into their decision-making processes.

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Delivering trainings

 

IIDebate provide trainings in the field of communication and debate to engage youth and improve their skills in critical thinking and make them more active in their communities. The process that we go through is:

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Designing a training session

 

A whole team is working on designing the training curriculums according to your need; experts, consultant and international partners help us to produce those curriculums.

We have been working with Chicago Debate League and Mikva Challenge for more then 3 months to improve our training design and we are inspired by the activities they practice inorder to implement it in the Tunisian and international concept.

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Conducting a training session

 

Civil society, Institutions, companies and group of youth request training sessions on debate and communication skills. IIDebate has proven experience with our well-experienced trainers in different fields who are all certified from international organizations and has attended a minimum of 3 (TtT:train of the trainers) required to be part of the trainers team. The trainer is also the person who is involved in the designing of the materials and he is dedicated in the follow up with the trainees after the training to measure the impact and the change that he brought through his session.

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Conducting a workshop

 

According to the need of our partners and under request, we organize workshops that we organize according to the need of the receivers and the activities that they have already in the program. The workshops are important to give a brief overview about our training quality and to promote our activities to the public part of our target.

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Organizing a conference

 

Since the launch of our organization, we organized different conferences in partnership with civil society organization or with our main partners. We show our dedication and involvement to the development of the youth that we usually work with, in addition to the corporate partners that they contract us for those kind of events. Through those conferences, participants get a deep knowledge on how they improve their communication skills and to overcome their fears of public speaking. Organizing a train the trainers

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Serving as a consultant

 

According to the requirement, some companies and international organizations request experts in communication and conflict management to deliver trainings, help in the design of a customized trainings or even to bring advises on how to improve the competences of their employees, trainers and sales department.

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Initiating competitions/challenges

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IIDebate decided to use as a format “The policy debate format” and “The open debate format” where we use competition and challenge as main tool to engage youth to participate with us. Those challenges are usually organized in partnership with different international organizations that help us to execute the winner projects. This format push the participants to think about the problems in their communities, make a deep research about it, present the solution as a creative way through videos and articles or even by sharing their ideas/success story with the public citizens that they can vote for them and support them to improve their projects.

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Since IIDebate is part of many networks as Young Arab Voices, African Youth Panel, Tunisian American Alumni Network and UNESCO “NET MED YOUTH”, those competitions were very successful. In the past two years, we earned the support of different partners and organizations to promote the activities and the projects, to engage youth to be a part of civil society organizations and we also developed the platform “Tunisian Youth Cares” in which we can share all the projects, updates and the activities on it and we can make our followers more updated about what we do.

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In the past challenge “Tunisian Youth Cares” in partnership with the British Council, IDEA MENA under the program “Young Arab Voices”, 10 creative projects were developed specifically for the competition, 100 young Tunisian were part of building the projects and the projects were voted by more then 100.000 young Tunisian in order to win in the final during the boxing days. The winner project in this competition is from Sfax and he was financed after that from the American Embassy in oreder to excecute his project in the Tunisian community.

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The approach that we use in the challenges is very attractive for the funders and for the youth. It make youth participants well-trained on the way how they can create a real projects through the right process and give the opportunity for the funders to see quality projects, that are well structured and participate in the finals as judges in order to take the time and see the pitch and the final project of each group they can finance after-all.

 

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Creating projects/programs

 

IIDebate has a unique way which distinguishes it from other debate organizations, our way is focused on inspiring, helping and pushing youth not only to debate and discuss about world issues but also to give them the chance to execute on the ground and make a positive impact in their communities.

When the organization started, the main activities were focusing on improving the educational system in the country, continent and the world through non-formal education. We concentrated on issues related to that field as:

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In addition, through our curriculums, we make participants in our program reflect on world issues and make a deep research about its reality in their communities. Then, we give them the chance through debate sessions to convince each other about solutions and suggestions based on their research to tackle that specific issue. In the end, they come up with programs and invent projects that they can implement all around the country and we follow up with them to find funding to execute those projects.

This method helps the community to be more active and to believe that the system should go from down to up, Citizens to government and not only the inverse as we used to live. It also helps to create a positive change and make each citizen care and rely on himself to change any issue ,he is living, to a solution.

IIDebate has made three projects until now, based on this process since 2014 when we started with the British Council in the project “Khallini Ne5tar” and then we made “Sghayer W Nghayer” and we ended up with the “Action2015” to promote the SDG goals made by the United Nations.

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