Youth And Culture Center (Zouk Mikael Municipality) - About
Youth And Culture Center (Zouk Mikael Municipality)
Originally founded as a public library in Zouk Mikaël during the 1940’s, this municipal facility was re-established in April of 2009 as the Youth and Culture Center.
Vision and Mission
YCC is an incubator for interaction and development that aims to:
create a space for dialogue, which seeks to increase communication among all segments of the population.
promote a sense of participatory democracy and citizenship through meetings and exchanges.
familiarize the public with new technologies by providing access to the Internet (WIFI) and regular training sessions (browsing, software use, etc.).
promote culture and art as catalysts for universal communication.
provide a space for reading and support active involvement in the learning process by encouraging the formation of research groups eager for knowledge and learning.
YCC is a municipal and public service of the city of Zouk Mikaël; thus, the city council defied all the administrative and bureaucratic constraints to create two new jobs and hire a librarian and a coordinator of cultural activities.
Yet, this public foundation relies first on the participation of the locals to ensure the success of its mission. This is why a larger team supports the organization and the strategic planning of YCC. A number of experts, recruited from the local youth in the city collaborate in the management of the center, the conceptualization and the setting of the programs. This is part of the participatory approach that the city of Zouk Mikaël initiates among the local population. This pioneering measure goes beyond the success of organized activities, and entices civic engagement of the youth in the city that can make use of their experiences and professional potential. Currently, YCC is headed by a director on a voluntary basis. She is assisted by a dozen young collaborators, all working in team spirit.
The ongoing education of the team develops its strengths: YCC’s director undertook trainings on the management of a cultural center in France; the librarian is being continuously trained by the Ministry of Culture and the association Assabil; the cultural coordinator was trained by Microsoft to be able to provide computer training sessions on Microsoft software.
In April 2009, the YCC was still in preparation and organization. Thousands of books and publications were made available in a period of a few months. Thus, choosing a high-quality cataloging system was a necessary and immediate action. This was accomplished by resorting to local experts and the hard work of the YCC team for twelve months in order to index the 45,000 books received through the generous donations from the city of Rueil-Malmaison, along with Zouk Mikaël, and from different universities and publishing houses in Lebanon. Finally, 30,000 titles were selected to establish the fund in the learning center, which is currently open to the public.
During the 18 months following the inauguration, YCC organized more than 250 cultural activities in collaboration with various actors of the civil society, local and regional NGOs, embassies and cultural centers, international organizations, universities and young artists.
This approach was intended to consolidate the local population around center and introduce it to as many players as possible as well as open it to various spaces, including the media.
These activities also aimed to raise the bridges of dialogue between the mosaic of different cultures of Lebanon, and the cultures of the countries in surrounding regions of the Mediterranean, most notably the ones with which Lebanon shares languages and heritage. YCC also took part in national cultural events, hence contributing to the national cultural demarches.