While the current pandemic has caused many business and social organisations to suspend their operations, the aspirations remain high and millions of people are energetic to come out of this situation stronger and more productive. The Youth Love Egypt (YLE) Foundation is one of the most vibrant youth organisations in the Republic of Egypt, which has activities in many parts of the country with over 100 million inhabitants.
The activities of YLE Foundation include a special focus on cleaning and awareness campaigns. Youth Loves Egypt's members volunteer four days a week to teach visitors to protected areas about the history of these areas and how to preserve them. In 2018, the United Nations Environmental Program selected the Youth Loves Egypt Foundation as an official representative in the celebrations of the World Environment Day, which came under the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
In February 2019, YEL launched the 'Clean Shores' initiative in partnership with the media center of the United Nations, as well as the Nile River Protection Authority, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, in addition to the Ministry of Youth And sports. The programme of the initiative was scheduled to be implemented over two years. The initiative goes beyond the borders of Egypt to reach other countries in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) region.
In Tunisia, YEL cooperates with two societies, while it is in cooperation with eight Moroccan institutions and NGOs. In Algeria, it works closely with six institutions and associations. The YEL has also been working with organisations in Nigeria, Ukraine and Lebanon. In January, before the government enforced lockdown and social distancing measures, a total of 120 volunteers participated in a campaign to clean the Nile in Giza.
Besides the physical campaigns to clean the environment, the YEL Foundation organises seminars regularly to raise awareness of environmental issues and natural reserves in particular. These seminars are mostly held in universities and youth centres to encourage more volunteers to join the foundation’s programmes. The YEL also participates in international celebrations such as the Earth’s Day, the World Environment Day and the World Oceans Day.
While the YEL Foundation was unable to celebrate the first anniversary of its 'Clean Shores' initiative due to the coronavirus pandemic, the members are arguably satisfied with the international reports speaking of the positive environmental progress achieved globally due to the stop of manufacturing activities which usually result in thick pollution that damage the environment, especially in large and over-crowded cities like the Egyptian capital. Until the end of April, Egypt had the largest-number of COVID-19 confirmed cases among the African OIC countries.