July 27, 2020 – DeepRoot Consulting, with support from the European Union, launched on Sunday the Hikma Fellowship for Public Leaders, a groundbreaking program aimed at reinvigorating the role of Yemeni youth leaders in the country’s public sphere.
The inaugural cohort of Hikma Fellows engaged in a discussion with eminent peacemaker and diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi during the program launch, which was held online due to Covid-19. The distinguished young men and women from governorates across Yemen include members of various political parties and movements, as well as independent human rights and civil society leaders.
“To be a leader means to know how to listen to others, and in that regard, openness to compromise is the strongest sign of bravery,” Riccardo Villa, Chargé d'Affaires of the EU Delegation to Yemen, told the Fellows. “I truthfully wish that you can make the best of this leadership programme, with a sense of responsibility towards the millions of Yemenis facing hardship out there.”
Hikma, meaning “wisdom” in Arabic, is a year-long fellowship program aimed at strengthening the political capital of emerging Yemeni leaders and cultivating their leadership skills through a curated series of dialogue sessions, advanced capacity building courses, stakeholder engagement activities, and forums with counterparts from the Gulf.
The Hikma Fellowship comes as part of DeepRoot’s conviction that building a peaceful future for Yemen requires ushering in a new generation of young leaders with the wisdom to learn from our past, the knowledge to chart a path forward, and the integrity to ensure no Yemeni gets left behind.
Cutting-edge training will be delivered to the fellows by internationally-renowned experts on a range of topics critical for well-rounded leadership. These include advanced training on adaptive leadership, organising and building social movements, public policymaking and values in public leadership.
The program is uniquely tailored to prepare the Hikma Fellows for the unique challenges they can expect to face as public leaders in Yemen and the broader region, expanding their cross-party networks and deepening their engagement with ordinary youth across the country.
The Hikma Fellowship is being launched as part of A New Generation of Public Leaders in Yemen, an 18-month project implemented by DeepRoot and supported through the European Union Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).
DeepRoot is a leading social enterprise working on advancing inclusive, sustainable solutions to a range of political, economic, and developmental issues in Yemen. DeepRoot has extensive experience in providing platforms for dialogue on peacebuilding, producing in-depth reports and expanding stakeholder understanding of the local dynamics in different areas of the country. DeepRoot has implemented multiple track II initiatives in direct and indirect support of the Office of the UN Special Envoy to Yemen’s efforts to negotiate a political settlement to the conflict