YOUTH CAN CHANGE THE MENA
29 June 2018
Almost half of the population in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is under 25 years old. Young people face a variety of struggles – including a very high unemployment rate – but there is one issue perhaps more pressing than any other. Rita Elmounayer, SAT-7’s CEO Designate, discusses the greatest challenge facing youth today and how SAT-7 empowers young viewers to change their future.
In his book Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, George Barna asserts that “if you want to have a lasting impact on the world, you need to invest in people’s lives. – and if you want to maximise this investment, you need to invest in those lives while they are still young.”
The MENA is a region full of turmoil, hardship, and pain. To change the future of the region, we need to support the younger generation.
THE GREATEST STRUGGLE
Young adults struggle with a lack of education, unemployment, pressure to follow extremist ideologies, displacement, and drug addiction. Addressing all these issues may seem like an impossible task. However, I believe the biggest problem plaguing the youth of the region is hopelessness.
Faced with these problems, many young people are losing all hope. Hopeless young people will not help create a better future. It is vital for SAT-7 to plant seeds of hope through its programming.
Thankfully, young people are not usually rigid in their thinking. They are generally ready to adapt or change for the better. They want to understand right from wrong, truth from falsehood. Many are full of dreams and passion but hindered by the struggles they are facing.
By tackling practical challenges and creating awareness of young people’s human rights and responsibilities, SAT-7’s programs can help steer them in positive directions.
But most importantly, we want them to be confident and empowered by their identity in Jesus Christ. By broadcasting stories of hope and victory, we encourage our young viewers to say, “Hey, if this person did it, so can I. With hope and faith, I can rise above all the challenges in front of me!”
God is using SAT-7 to make a difference in the lives of young people across the MENA. He is turning the seeds of hope we plant into deep roots of faith.
BUILDING FOUNDATIONS FOR CHANGE
We began sharing God’s hope 22 years ago, and He has faithfully sustained us. I truly believe the next generation will continue this work, changing the region one heart at a time. And I believe that with determination, prayer, and faith,
SAT-7 can lay the groundwork for this change to happen.
Please join us in prayer for the youth of the MENA, as they embrace and realise their incredible potential to change the future of the region.
SAT-7 Deputy Chief Executive Officer | Rita was born in Lebanon, and has been working in Christian media since 1992. She began her studies with History and Social Science in the Lebanese University of Beirut, then, having a heart for children and people in need, she studied and taught communications for deaf and mute children at the Father Andrew Institute in Beirut. In 1992, Rita joined FEBA radio where she wrote programs for youth and helped with follow up, as well as taking courses in Islam, script writing and child abuse. She joined SAT-7 in 1996, where she worked as a producer and writer for As Sanabel, and host of the popular Bedtime Stories with Rita program. Rita earned her Masters Degree in Communication Practice from the University of Wales in 2004. She was later appointed as Executive Director of the Arabic Channels of SAT-7 in 2005. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Religion in Middle Eastern and North African Studies from the Institute of Middle East Studies, Lebanon. In 2016, she was appointed as the Chief Channels and Communications Officer, responsible for five channels in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish. In 2017, she was appointed as Deputy CEO. She is a member of the SAT-7 leadership team and currently lives in Cyprus.