YOUTH SOCIAL ACTION PROGRAMS – Funding for Human Rights Conferences & Programs

Brussels, Belgium

Introduction

We started this project from the heart of the EU Belgium and it’s capital Brussels. Brussels is considered the de facto capital of the European union, having a long history of hosting the institution of the European union within its European quarter. Despite the fact that the EU has no official capital, and no plan to declare one, but Brussels hosts the official seats of the European CommissionCouncil of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat (officially the second seat but de facto the most important one) of the European Parliament.

Refugees of Brussels

Our first meeting in Brussels wasn’t with officials nor organizations but with a group of refugees living in a public park called Parc Maximilien, the park stands out against a cold backdrop of office buildings in north Brussels. The park is lovingly landscaped with wide swaths of grass, rows of trees, castles to climb on and colorful swings but for the last few years, Parc Maximilien has become a refuge for asylum seekers from around Africa, mostly Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia. For many, the desired destination is the UK. They pass the nights in miserable conditions, they sleep under a garage overhang, using discarded cartons and plastic packaging to keep the cold out of their damp. We donated 5000 euro (5900 USD) to a survival group to buy sleeping bags and other needs to help them survive the harsh conditions in upcoming winter. 

IRF meeting with Club de Madrid

Apart of the social work with refugees in Brussels, we wanted to take the opportunity as we are working at the home of all EU institutions and meet with high officials to advocate for IRF cause, also to prompt IRF approach and philosophy. To do so, as a part of the EU delegation we met with 12 former president and prime ministers of 12 countries. The members of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, are all democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world. Since members are no longer in office, they now represent their personal leadership experience and commitment and not their countries or parties, and they are therefore freer to share their experiences while still keenly aware of the pressures and problems faced by today’s leaders.  In our meeting with them, we wanted to get the word out, in our meeting we talked about the importance of charity and giving hoping to motivate them to do more by presenting IRF as role model when it comes to giving without asking anything in return, giving with dignity and respect, hoping to use their powerful network as the members of the club have access to governments, organizations and non-profits to promote democracy and empower human rights. 

Inti Raymi Fund at the United Nations General Assembly 18-22 September 2017

As part of the EU delegation we attended a meeting at the UN co-chaired by Jordan and Norway and co-hosted by the “Champions of Youth” Group. The Secretary- General of the United Nations Mr. Antonio Gutteres delivered an opening remark of the Meeting.

The meeting aimed to sustain the momentum for empowering youth and reaffirm the significant role of young people in sustaining peace and development, as well as in preventing and countering violent extremism. It stressed the need for greater collaboration and stronger community by Member States to implement UNSCR 2250 at all levels and to achieve our joint ambitious vision towards generating favorable conditions for the meaningful and inclusive engagement of youth as partners. The Meeting officially announced the Group of the “Champions of Youth” which so far consists of 22 Member States and the European Union. It will also affirm support for the Progress Study, which was mandated by Resolution 2250, including through political and/or financial support.

Later on, we were invited by H.E. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, H.E. Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission and H.E. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission to a networking reception for all EU governmental and non-governmental partners which took place at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York. It was great pleasure to be there also a greater opportunity to network and make new friends to support IRF work. At the reception we met our friend, the lead author of the progress study of The United Nations Security council resolution 2250, Mr Graeme Simpson. As usually IRF do, we asked what do you need? How we can help? And after genuine conversation we decided to do a consolation on Peace-Education and the UNSCR 2250 in a place where no consolation took place. On the 28th of September and After a lot of work and help from our friends in the United Nations – New York, European External Action Service, Peacebuilding organizations the event “Youth for Peace Education in Georgia” was held in Tbilisi, Georgia.  

United Nations Resolution 2250 On Youth, Peace, And Security

The United Nations Security Council adopted unanimously, on 9 December 2015, a ground-breaking resolution on Youth, Peace and Security which recognizes that “young people play an important and positive role in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security”.

UNSCR 2250 (2015) identifies five key pillars for action: participation, protection, prevention, partnerships and disengagement and reintegration. This landmark resolution urges Member States to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels and to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes.

On the 28th of September with full support of Inti Raymi Fund, youth-led organizations facilitated discussions around youth engagement and development of peace education at the event “Youth for Peace Education in Georgia” held in Tbilisi. The purpose of the event was to promote the concept of peace education in Georgia and to support the UN 2250 Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security.

The event attracted the interests from youth, non-governmental, governmental and international organizations as well as research and higher education institutions. Particularly 32 representatives of 22 different organizations discussed on challenges hindering the development of peace education in Georgia. The participants came up with recommendations on how to develop peace education and engage Georgian youth in it. These recommendations were submitted to the Progress Study group represented by the Lead Author of the study after the last official consultation on this resolution which took place in Brussels from 25th of September to the 27th. 

IRF Meeting the World Bank(WB)

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development. As both of IRF and WK mission and values intersect we found meeting them and present IRF funding model which based on sharing with dignity and respect is very important. We met with Tobias Lechtenfeld and Oliva, both are working at the WB as Social Development Specialists – Middle East and North Africa, we also met Mattias H. A. Lundberg who is working there as a Lead Specialist on Global Youth Programs. Our strategic meetings with the office of the MENA region department at the World Bank aimed to engage with experts working on Learning and Innovation, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience, linked to the WB MENA agenda and Youth Strategy and Platform. 

What Next?

  1. As a follow up on the event took place in Georgian we will be working with our friends and partners in Georgia and in the EU-Brussels to create a network of organizations working on Peace-Building in the Caucasian region ( RussiaGeorgiaAzerbaijanTurkeyArmeniaIran ). Every $1 spent on upstream conflict prevention saves approx. $16 on the downstream costs of violent conflict, from here, and as Global Human Rights Foundation we find it’s our job to support organizations working on ending violent conflict.

2.     The final on-going project we are working on now is called ‘Our Community, Our Responsibility ‘it’s a small fund called “Inti Raymi Micro fund for social cause” the fund aims to creating a network of young community leaders who will inspire each other to bring positive social change in Brussels. The fund will go for a group of youth to support their Social Action Projects implemented within these communities. These Social Action Projects are intended to support community cohesion and local development where participants work together in order to deliver initiatives that benefit their community in the city of Brussels. The project is targeting a group of youth from 18 to 25. The idea of the project is to build on IRF main rule “What do you need, how we can help” A 3 days’ workshop on “Project management” will be giving to 30 to 35 young leaders in Brussels and at the end of the workshop we will ask the participant to give us a small proposals on issues they want to address/change/work on in their local communities then we will chose the most doable and interesting ideas and I will give them the IRF Micro fund of 2000 USD each, in this way we help them to start their community initiatives, in this way we also we will Cement their passion into social good, then down the road they’ll always be anchored with social justice and causes, so this money will help then on into perpetuity. Mentorship and help will be given to the participants in case they need any help to implement their ideas and projects.   

All Photos by others

Project Details

Sponsors: Chimu

Start Date: August 2017

Completion Date: December 2017

Funded so far: $25,000 USD

Total Project: $25,000 USD

Lives Affected: TBD

VIDEO

Team Members

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Anas Talalqa

COMMUNITY & INTI RAYMI FUND'S INVOLVEMENT