A number of communities in the region have benefited from the work of dedicated activists over the past five years. Some have formally organised themselves, others have worked with grants, but all have benefited from the dedication and commitment of a few tireless individuals in the community who have, through experience and hardship, become de facto community leaders.
Under the circumstances, their work has been most admirable and remarkable. Most of their endeavours and initiatives have however focused on the short-term needs of the residents such as they are during war-time. As of 2018, many began preparing for the post-conflict phase, wanting to strengthen their leadership and team-working skills to ensure the strongest possible outcomes for their community during the rebuilding phase, whatever shape or form that may take.
Sharq.Org has been supporting the development of such groups and their skills through mentorship programmes that pair youth leaders with professionals with extensive experience in leadership, project development, resource management, monitoring and evaluation, community outreach and media relations.
A three-year programme (2016-18) of support with community leaders and activists from the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in Damascus resulted in the development and production of over a dozen local initiatives to enhance community welfare and cohesion.