‘Together Stronger’ Turkish and Syrian grassroots civil societies for community action
In the framework of the EU Grant Scheme for Civil Society Support Programme III, Olive Branch and DOOR jointly developed a capacity building programme to support the grassroots civil society in Gaziantep. Titled ‘Empowerment of Local CSOs and Increasing Communication and Collaboration for Effective Functioning and Representation’, the concept aims to empower local Turkish and Syrian CSOs to best represent and serve their civil communities. The programme has passed the concept stage and is now in the detailed proposal phase.
The programme aims to a) strengthen grassroots CSOs to be effective in their function and to advocate for their community, b) enhance communication and collaboration among the CSOs. 20 grassroots civil organisations from Gaziantep, 10 Turkish and 10 Syrian, will benefit from a package of training and workshops covering all aspects of the civil society organisation and functions.
The main theory of change for this action is focusing on increasing access to existing services that are provided by the Turkish authorities at local and national level, and on providing extra services as social responsibility of CSOs. Olive Branch and Door believe that through this action, the desired change can be achieved by;
- Strengthening the organisational and governance structure of the CSOs
- Building the capacity of the CSOs in community engagement, effective networking, advocacy media and campaign
- Raising their profile through enhancing the networking among themselves and across the community divide
- Encouraging joint planning for initiatives to address the issues of both communities
- Helping to connect with decision-making centres at local and national level
It is envisaged that, after completing the capacity building programme, the participating CSOs will be gathered in a series of workshops where they will be able to apply the acquired knowledge and skills by working in groups to analyze and identify the main challenges and issues for the communities in the light of prevailing reality in the four interests (Students, Women, People with disability, Art/Culture), and then design initiatives, one in each interest area. Furthermore, they will go on to implement their jointly developed initiatives supported by a small microgrant from the project.