Gassan is one of the community young actors who received the AC training in North State “Hamdab area” in May 2016. Hamadab area is very well known to be the capital of youth marginalization ( specially young women ) and unemployment , given that the area is inhabited by a displaced community who has been forced to relocate from their previous home town , due to the construction of the Merawi Damp earlier this century.
To due this re-allocation , Gassan wasn’t able to complete his high school , this dramatically and negatively affected his mental and emotional state , he was completely hopeless in life /community/ and the country as whole. The Active citizen training that he received through HOLLA was the first training he ever attend after dropping high school.
This training was unique in the sense that it was the first time ever in Hamada area , for young women and young men to share the same room together , he never though that this will happen in his village. He also mentioned that this training was “ the talk of the town” before and after. Before , everyone was frowning at the idea of mixing genders in one room . and After, the relatives of the participants witnessed the true difference of those young people , and how they were tackling and helping the whole community to see the bright side and the potential of the youth , throught the Social Action project they have implemented ( which was just a bakery to make only bread – fully operated by those young leader). But not just any bakery , this bakery was the closest the community has been to , the closest one was 120 Kms away . the bread used to be carried all the way in an in hygiene manner , which caused a lot of health issues to the local community , and wasn’t enough for everyone. Now , those youth , men and females (including gassan) are called the HOLLA youth, and are considered as role models for other young people to follow.
After he received the AC training Gassan decided to sit again for the national exams and he just applied for the university. His mind set has completely transformed to accept the fact that women could be actively engaged with and they do have a voice that needs to be heard. Gassan established his own business now and he has company now called “Elslama” which specialises in insurance services. When we visited the village again after 16 month ( this October 2017 ) to do anther training in HOLLA 2 , we observed that Gassan was a totally different person from the first time we met him. He is now confident, empowered and is influencing other young people from his village , to follow his path.