Kuwait, January 2016: The en.v initiative, a Kuwait-based organization promoting social responsibility in the Arab world, finalized the second round and third year of its capacity-building program, STAND. The Support for Training, Advocacy and Networking in Development program (STAND) is a regional initiative aimed at building the capacity of local civil society through training, funding, and networking opportunities. It is funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) through an international non-profit organization, PartnersGlobal, and implemented in collaboration with The en.v Initiative in Kuwait.
Building upon the success of the initial two-year program, under the STAND II round that ran from January to November 2015, six local civil society organizations (CSOs) received training in key areas of civil society development, followed by funding to implement advocacy and awareness campaigns. The CSOs received training on keytopics such as NGO governance, leadership, HR and volunteer management, strategic planning, fundraising, grant writing, monitoring and evaluation, project management, coalition building, cooperative advocacy, and conflict management. Three grants were then awarded to fund the best advocacy campaigns selected from the participants’ proposals, enabling these CSOs to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills.
As part of its STAND II project, Abolish153, an advocacy campaign aimed at eliminating Article 153 of the Kuwait Penal Code that effectively tolerates “honor” killings, raised public awareness on this issue and continues to lobby the National Assembly to amend the law. The campaign’s awareness efforts included a public art exhibition at the Contemporary Art Platform, a symposium at the American University of Kuwait and a concert at the Al Hamra Mall. Meanwhile, sub-grantees FSRI-Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Centre, BirthKuwait and 6abebat launched the Kuwait Child Resource Centre online portal (www.kuwaitcrc.org) to serve as a one-stop resource for parents and child health professionals living and working in Kuwait. The three organizations are collaborating with the objective to foster a society where children and families receive appropriate and timely healthcare and development advice, information and services. The third sub-grant recipient, Project 189, is an organization that aims to promote the rights of domestic workers in the Middle East. As part of its project, it organized photography workshops for domestic workers in Kuwait and later showcased their work at a public exhibition at Masaha 13. The objective was to facilitate a cooperative, cross-cultural dialogue between domestic workers and employers using creative mediums.
On December 16, following the end of the grant period, en.v also organized a Fail Fest to facilitate networking and sharing of ideas among both STAND I and STAND II subgrantees. The event enabled participants to reflect on lessons learned, identify new avenues of collaboration and discuss the further development of the civil society sector in Kuwait.
Finally, in collaboration with MEPI and PartnersGlobal, en.v has launched a nine-month extension of the STAND program, during which past subgrantees will be given the opportunity to apply for additional grants to implement Kuwait-based advocacy campaigns. Those who are granted funding will then be provided with ongoing mentorship throughout project implementation in order to further develop the skills acquired in earlier training workshops. The objective of the extended phase is to ensure the sustainability of STAND, whose ultimate goal is to empower participating organizations to be more effective as well as promote collaboration and networking across the civic sector.
en.v (a subsidiary of El Boutique Creative Group (www.elboutique.com) is an organization dedicated to promoting social responsibility and environmental sustainability in the Arab world. The organization’s activities include planning and implementing social development and environmental programs in the Middle East by creating strategic partnerships with local civil society organizations, governmental actors, and the private sector. Through collaborative efforts and online platforms, en.v raises awareness for pressing social issues as well as leading development initiatives in the MENA region.
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Instagram : @envearth
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