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“Music for Development, a new project by youth to youth”

Cairo, 18 July 2018, - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Egypt Country office has been employing different strategies of entertainment education as a powerful means to mobilize young people to change social norms, raise awareness and adjust behavior that puts them at risk. -   One of the tools of this strategy is use of music to mobilize young people for change.  Today the UNFPA, in cooperation with Bibliotheca Alexandrina -, and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt are  launching “Music for Development” project with a concert during the “16th International Summer Festival” that features national and international musicians who enjoy wide appeal among Egypt’s youth. This festival is hosted on an annual basis by Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The launch will be attended by Dr. Aleksandar Bodiroza; UNFPA Representative in Egypt.

This initiative is part of the entertainment education program of UNFPA’s 10th programme cycle (2018-2022). UNFPA is the lead agency on youth programming and behavior change interventions for issues related to population growth and family planning as well as combating all forms of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early marriage in Egypt. Through this project, UNFPA is supporting a group of young men and women as well as youth bands to develop songs raising awareness on issues related to population growth, devastating consequences of FGM and early marriage. This is part of UNFPA’s innovative approach that aims at creating societal dialogue on Egyptian development.

Songs at the concert will be performed by Alexandria-based bands. Members of the bands are inspirational young people who are passionate about using music for social change. They will be featuring five thematic songs on preference for small-sized families, abandonment of female genital mutilation, promoting youth engagement and women’s rights to education and reproductive health.  They will be touring Upper and Lower governorates of Egypt during the summer from August to December for wider dissemination of this artistic initiative that touches hearts and minds in an effort to create social change.

In his remarks, Dr. Aleksandar Sasha Bodiroza, UNFPA Representative in Egypt concluded: “Music is a fundamental channel of communication: it provides a means by which people can share emotions, intentions, and meanings. Music can exert powerful physical and behavioural effects, can produce deep and profound emotions. Music has been working as a form of soft power that helps the process of change and when promoted and performed by recognizable celebrities, there is a tremendous influence on the knowledge young people retain, the attitudes they adopt, and the decisions they make, including those that affect their wellbeing. That’s why UNFPA has been partnering with a number of celebrities in order to use their prominent social standing and the peer credibility they have with young people to raise awareness on issues related to family planning, female genital mutilation and early marriage.”

For media queries please contact:

Nada Salah, Communications Coordinator, UNFPA Egypt