Civil Society Support

SUPPORTING HOME-GROWN ACTIVISM

People Demand Change is dedicated to supporting those in the MENA region who believe in a pluralistic, diverse, moderate and open society in the Middle East. PDC’s mission is to give a voice to those who believe in basic rights to human dignity, freedom, and the rule of law based on the consent of the people. Because of the complexities of the MENA region, both politically and in terms of the diversity of cultures, religions, and ethnicities found in the region; PDC is committed to a grassroots, bottom-up approach to civil society. PDC works to listen to the needs and priorities of those working on the ground, while finding appropriate measures to support their work. Furthermore, PDC stresses cultural expertise and hires local staff whenever possible to ensure that linguistic and cultural barriers can be easily overcome. PDC is currently supporting a number of civil society organizations in Syria.

Previous programs include:

  1. Humanitarian Aid and Support:  PDC supports a number of INGOs and Syrian CSOs that provide sustainable humanitarian aid to communities within Syria.  Humanitarian aid has constituted direct support in the form of grants, increasing the capacity of CSOs involved in conflict mediation, and addressing hardships particular to specific communities. For example, PDC has worked in partnership with an NGO to implement a water economy project in north-west Idlib that focused on providing a farming community the capacity to restart the local agricultural economy.
  2. Civic Education: PDC provides support for a local NGO inside Syria currently operating a civic education center that provides: seminars, language courses, training on specific skillsets such as computer science, and the procurement and setup of a library capable of serving the immediate community and surrounding region. PDC continues to support this NGO in its capacity to provide education, awareness, and a neutral space for thoughtful discussion and debate.
  3. Education and Training on Electoral Models: PDC supports a number of workshops with a major INGO, which specializes in training community leaders in electoral models, in order to expose various Syrian stakeholders to a discussion of the tangible effects that transparent and accountable elections can have on day-to-day life.  Part of this mission includes the development of a small booklet on elections, which can be distributed and deliberated on by various Syrian CSOs and local councils. View the booklet here
  4. Psychosocial Support: PDC is currently reaching out to Syrian CSOs and INGOs to establish psychosocial support programs for women coping with the trauma of war, sexual assault, and harsh living conditions. Lacking the same access to services as their male counterparts, women are particularly in need of emotional support.  Previously, PDC worked with local partners on the ground inside Syrian and Turkish refugee camps to provide educational support and art supplies for children, providing them an outlet for emotional distress.

Because of the complexities of the MENA region, politically and in terms of the diversity of cultures, religions and ethnicities found in the region, PDC is committed to a grassroots, bottom-up approach to civil society. PDC works to listen to the needs and priorities of those working on the ground, while finding appropriate measures to support their work.

At a local community meeting, women read booklets on electoral reform and discuss how to keep local councils accountable in providing social services.

Information about current and previous projects is available upon request.

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