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CSOs share civic initiatives’ success stories, launch networking platform

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Jul 15,2018 - Last updated at Jul 16,2018

Civil society organisations’ representatives from around the Kingdom share their experiences in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of USAID CIS programme)

AMMAN — Civil society organisations (CSOs) from Amman, Zarqa, Balqa, Madaba and Aqaba on Sunday gathered in Amman to celebrate success stories achieved through their participation in the USAID Civic Initiatives Support Programme (CIS), which aims at cultivating a “strong and vibrant” civil society in Jordan through a broad range of civic initiatives.

Implemented by the non-profit human development organisation FHI 360, the programme has issued a total of 168 grants supporting 114 Jordanian CSOs since its establishment in 2013. 

The celebration served as a platform to launch “Partnering for Change” — a networking platform for civil society to capture lessons learned and promote strategies for rights-based advocacy and dialogue with decision makers aimed at advancing Jordan’s development, according to organisers. 

“We are here today to celebrate what we have achieved together and keep on moving forward for change,” CIS Director of Civic Engagement Eman Nimri said during the ceremony, thanking all CSOs and partners at the Jordanian government for their support.

“At the beginning, change is always challenging, but, as the programme developed, we were able to see the CSOs, capacities to engage the population and create a true connection,” Nimri continued, highlighting “the potential of this ability to lead to a strong civil society capable of fostering change”.

She pointed out the programme’s “most relevant” outputs, saying “the CSOs developed capacities to advocate for human rights based change, the integration of democracy and governance principles across all sectors, the CSOs strengthened effectiveness through new approaches, and the organisations’ training provision leading to learning for improvement”.

USAID Acting Mission Director Nancy Eslick expressed her “pleasure to celebrate these achievements”, stressing that USAID’s partnership with the Jordanian civil society traces back to 60 years ago. 

“Civil society is the key pillar to a democratic state, and it is essential to provide citizens with the opportunity for civic engagement,” the official stated, expressing that “USAID recognises the role that each CSO partner plays in building a stable and resilient Jordan, and we will continue to support you”.

Four CSOs were invited to share their journey of change, with stories focusing on the importance of partnering with different stakeholders to effectively define and achieve change. 

Representatives of the Princess Basma Centre (PBC) in Aqaba explained their work on mobilising marginalised women and providing them with a platform to push for change within their families and communities. 

Meanwhile, members of the Arab Women Legal Network outlined their experience in advancing the rights of victims of gender based violence within the judicial system. 

For their part, members of the Khotwetna Society for Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities shared their journey on becoming leaders in ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities in Zarqa and beyond with a focus on informed consent. 

A different approach was presented by Prisoners and their Families Aftercare Centre (Edmaj), an inmate post-release care centre established to ease the integration of former prisoners back into their families and societies with equal work opportunities non-conditional to the provision of a non-conviction certificate. 

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