The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has launched the second edition of Watering the Seeds Program, which aims to support growing initiatives and human rights institutions in the Middle East and Europe.
The Euro-Med launched the first round of the program in 2017, supporting 16 international and grassroots human rights institutions, as well as dozens of human rights campaigns, including by supporting them through lobbying, advocacy, media campaigns, awareness-raising, and others.
During the first round of the program, the Euro-Med provided 23 training courses for growing human rights institutions in several countries, including Palestine, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, targeting more than 60 growing human rights activists and defenders.
The program is one of a number of different programs implemented by the Euro-Med to replicate the experience of its own founding and its work model, through which it was able to continue and protect the rights of thousands of victims in conflict zones, empowering youths and human rights bridges in different regions around the world.
The program includes providing support, material and logistical, consultations, and training courses to dozens of growing human rights initiatives (international and local) that operate with limited budgets.
Moath Hamed, the general coordinator of Skyline International and one of the beneficiaries of the program, said that the Euro-Med and its team have given his organization the opportunity to expand their work in several Arab and European countries, in addition to providing advice and logistic support for the implementation of a number of media campaigns.
“We benefited from the program by receiving several training courses in various fields, including international law, international humanitarian law, lobbying, advocacy, administration, and others,” Hamed said, pointing out to the importance of the program for human rights activists, growing entrepreneurs and institutions who still need help by international organizations to be able to survive and continue.
Sarah Al-Sheikh, a Lebanese activist and the director of HUMENA for Human Rights and Civil Participation, which also benefited from the program, said: “Watering the Seeds Program is a real opportunity for tens of growing human rights institutions which need to participate in international forums and to learn from the experiences of the other international organizations.”
Nour Naim, the Director of the International Platform for NGOs working for Palestine, praised the guidance and expertise that the platform has received from the program, adding that this helped them advance in the process of launching and building the international platform.
“We are always proud to support any youth initiatives just like what we went through at the Euro-Med, a seed planted by a group of young people to improve their reality,” said Rami Abdu, the Chairman of the Euro-Med.
"Since the start of the so-called Arab Spring, we made our goal to empower young people in the Middle East, especially in the Palestinian territories, and push them towards understanding human rights mechanisms. We do this at the lowest cost, especially given that the traditional institutions restrict access to their work and rarely cooperate with growing initiatives,” Abdu said.
The aim of the program is to empower Arab youths and give them tool to influence and bring about change in their countries where violations and systematic repression are practiced, and to increase the number and impact of human rights initiatives and institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, especially in conflict areas such as the Palestinian Territories, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The program also aims to train entrepreneurs and provide legal, administrative and financial consultations with a view of achieving effective results at a minimum cost.
In the coming year (2020), the Euro-Med will target a new group of growing institutions, support them by providing legal and administrative training to their managers, and give them financial and logistic support.
It is noteworthy that the Euro-Med will open applications to apply for the program in December this year, which will be announced through its website and various other channels.