Syria: Project for young people

Breaking down barriers of discrimination through media and arts

Leadership Training In Syria

£3,000/$5,000 was granted to the Awareness Foundation for leadership training among young people in Syria. This will help support a five day leadership training programme in Lattakia, Syria in October 2014.

The Arab Spring promised so much for the people of the Middle East. Tragically, it has delivered chaos and fear rather than freedom and hope. Diverse communities that lived peacefully together for centuries are now polarised by politics and faith.

For Christians, the choice can seem to be very simple: to stay andsuffer, or leave. We want to demonstrate to the Christians of the Middle East that there is another choice: to stay and thrive as full members of the wider community.

To achieve this, we want to build a Middle East-wide network of young Christian Leaders to be catalysts for peace, building bridges of mutual respect and understanding in their diverse communities. In this way we can contribute to the healing and strengthening of the fabric of society in the Middle East; this will benefit everyone, whatever their faith!

We propose to run a Leadership Training Programme for five days in Lattakia-Syria for young Christians to enable them to become catalysts for peace in their own communities, supported by a long-term mentoring programme. This group of 100 people will help and guide their communities on the path to peace and reconciliation.

Lattakia is on the Mediterranean coast and this region has been spared much of the conflict that has ravaged Syria, making it an ideal place to begin our new programme: a place of relative safety and a sanctuary for Syrians from across the country. This will be the first of many such Leadership Training Programmes across the Middle East.

The Programme equips young Leaders to be catalysts for peace in their community:

To support Christian presence in the Middle East by encouraging Christians to play a full role in 
the wider community as an indigenous part of society;

To build bridges between denominations and to encourage cooperation; and to build bridges with neighbours of other faiths, repairing relationships and rebuilding trust. 

Participants, male and female, will be between the ages of 18 and 35. The Awareness Foundation will work with Christian leaders and clergy to select the participants.