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Organization: Adwar Initiative
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

Our organization is not officialy  registerd, thus we could not get officialy into other netwoks , but we worked to build our own network, of other NGO youth intiatives in our local, regional and international medium.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

Adwar (Arabic for "roles") Initiative has been declared officially for the 1st time as a youth lead initiative in Feb. 2006

The Founders - 30 civil society activist - have produced a basic system to manage the ongoing of the activities and the organization of the initiative. This basic system it self was a tendency for the democratic participation. Due to this basic system all youth motivated to work for their society are accepted to become members in the general assembly. Each member of the general assembly has a vote. The general assembly elects the board members, the programs' coordinators; approve the annual agenda of activities, budget (if any) and strategic plan. Moreover, it can modify the procedures adopted by basic system it self except those related to the democratic structure and freedom of knowledge and high standers of transparency.

Members of the general assembly have the right to interrogate decision makers of the initiative - board and coordinators - , the right to oppose a policy undertaken by the key actors, to stop any of the activities or partnerships not matching with the vision, mission and values of the initiative.

According to the basic system, freedom of knowledge and transparency are guaranteed for all members, including partnership statements, funding proposals and projects budgets.

The general assembly sessions are public, and open for all youth to attend, and key actors of the initiatives are asked to motivate non-members youth to attend and to participate.

The direct democratic system of the initiative organization it self is a very interesting and educative model for democratic and positive participation.

On another hand, the initiative focuses on three main axes of activities:

1- Non formal education

2- Dialogue

3- Community services

Under non-formal education activities, the initiative is implementing an annual program under the name of “Alexandria International Model of Arab League" AIMAL which aims at raising the youth awareness regarding the Arab regional, political, economic and social landscapes; and to have the space to express themselves, discuss and agree on proposed solutions and applications for the most critical and highlighted issues in the region.  Adwar Initiative offered 3 versions of this program in 2007, 2008 and 2009.  The 2010 version of the program is in the preparation phase right now and it will be officially launched by the end of April 2010

On the same axe, with a different approach, the initiative used to offer education and training opportunities for volunteers in other partner NGOs and institutions, in order to build their capacities and qualify them to become multipliers for the experiences they gained out of these opportunities.

By the beginning of 2008, the initiative had succeeded in forming a team of culture of peace and conflict resolution trainers out of its members. The team started to offer workshops , seminars and training sessions for other members and for local youth in general in a series of activities under the name of “Peace or Conflict” in 2008 , 2009 and current year version is still under negotiation with partners and it should be launched in April too .

Believing that it is about time that we talk to the other not about them, the initiative offered opportitunites for members to participate in international conferences and programs working on cultural dialogue, supporting them with recommendation letters and helping find fund. On the background of this participation and the gained experiences, the initiative succeeded in offering a number of work shops to improve understanding between culturally different citizens in local context. Other workshops targeted foreigners and locals to work on a level of dialogue of cultures.

By the beginning of 2008, the initiative succeeded, in partnership with other youth group in Germany, to implement the "Building Bridges" project. The project aimed at raising youth awareness of political, media and social landscapes of the opposite country. It also offered for 10 participants of each country the chance to visit the other country and to have an internship in one of its prestigious institutions working in the fields mentioned above. A new phase of the project is still in the negotiation phase with partners and it should be launched by the end of May 2010.

Furthermore, the Initiative received so many regional and international youth activist in Alexandria, who wanted to work or to carry out researches in Egypt. Members of the Initiative provided them with hosting families and all needed support to accomplish their missions as long as it matched with the initiative’s vision and values. In the same context Adwar participated in so many intercultural conferences, workshops and programs taking place in Alexandria as an executive partner in the content, organizing, logistical support and media production.

The last axe of activities focuses on the networking between NGOs. In this concern we organized “Youth Reshaping the Future Forum” in November 2008, in cooperation with the UN Sailing the Nile Campaign, the World Bank Public Information Center (PIC), Bibliotheca Alexandrina Depository Library, and the Youth Employment Summit (YES- Egypt). “YRF” gathered more than 30 NGOs representative, the first such gathering in Alexandria, to discuss challenges facing civil work, joint projects and partnerships. The Forum resulted in a resolution that Adwar is currently working on bring to reality.

Concerning the development of the marginalized societies; Adwar executed the “Awareness. Participation. Creativity” project in Feb - Dec 2007. The project aimed at building local group of youth in three of the marginalized era in Alexandria (abu keer , el Max , kom el nadoura ) . Empowering them with team building training and civic education, and then linking them with the civil society in order to activate those young groups to work on solving the era problems and to help them facing the era main challenges.

Adwar has also started “Volunteering Program” in March 2008 and is still working on it. The program vision is to produce an international declaration for the volunteers rights and found an organization – volunteer bank – which offer training for volunteers and link them with the organizations , and to monitor the respect of the declaration from another side .

Finally, concerning the ideas of self expression, freedom of speech, tolerance and acceptance, Adwar is currently holding “Adwar Salon” weekly since June 2009. It is a gathering to discuss a topic, movie or book. The Salon emerges from our belief that dialogue should also take place internally; we should talk both to the "self" and the "other".

The initiative is still looking to implement other important project on the three axes of activities and to empower more and more its democratic organizational attitude in order to reach our vision of " youth total participation" and to achieve its mission "Egyptian progress" under the light of its values " justice, freedom of speech, respect, tolerance, diversity, dialogue, transparency, right of knowledge, and democratic decisions and structure”.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

To be honest we have no accurate answer for this questions, but in general the answer will be yes but it is still very limited and do not fulfill our needs, but at least we are moving forward.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

Yes, and the answers will be, among many, some of the obstacles we faced were:

1- The national security, who oppose any kind of discussion regarding corruption and political rights.

2- The cultural main stream that regards power and violence as values by themselves; and that they are the best and most efficient cure for any conflict.

3- The international community’s double standers policies in the Middle East, which blasted any kind of credibility in international laws.

4- The regime governing the country which made people lose confidence in the public agent, and made the national laws lose its credibility as well.

5 - The lack of funding for our programs, and the hidden agenda of the available ones.

6- The economic and cultural current status, which forces a large sector of youth to seek any available job opportunities, regardless being for their or their society’s good or not. Most importantly, the current status does not encourage them to get involved in peace programs or any relevant activities.

7- The existence of Israel, and all its violent, oppressive and unjust policies - as a government – against Arabs; which made people live the atmosphere of war rather than peace.

8- Available peace programs for youth with big and sustainable funding, which give participant a huge assistance regarding costs and other financial issues, made youth pay more attention to  benefits rather than content, and made them compare it with other program, and refuse to get involved in middle and small program in term of funding .

9- The lack of trainers, qualified enough and ready to offer voluntary services.

As we mentioned before those are only examples of obstacles, but in our point of view, there could be an endless list of different reasons.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: Adwar Initiative

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