Euro-Med Monitor: from a youth initiative to an international organization
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor started as a youth initiative launched by a group of young people from the Middle East and Europe before being officially registered as a Geneva-based organization in 2011.
Over the next several years (2011-2018), the initiative grew into an international organization with dozens of volunteers of different nationalities around the world motivated by the belief in the need to change the reality of freedoms in their countries by documenting violations, implementing initiatives, and launching campaigns and projects aimed at supporting marginalized groups, victims of violations, and vulnerable communities.
Given Euro-Med Monitor’s experience as a successful experiment by relying on a large team with limited budgets and its mission of helping other young initiatives that are making their way in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, the “Watering the Seeds” project was launched in 2017. The project aims at providing support, including material and logistical support, consultations, organizing training courses, and exporting common positions to dozens of young human rights initiatives (both international and grassroots) that operate with limited budgets.
The project is one of a number of different programs implemented by Euro-Med Monitor that aims at replicating Euro-Med Monitor’s model, which was able to continue working to protect the rights of thousands of victims in conflict areas, and empower youth, and building bridges of human rights work to different regions around the world.
Through the project, and within a year and a half of its launch, Euro-Med Monitor was able to support 16 youth initiatives between international organizations and grassroots institutions, as well as pressure and advocate for campaigns in conflict areas and Europe.
- Empower Arab youth and give them the means to make impact and change in countries where violations and the systematic suppression of freedoms are practiced.
- 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.
- Train entrepreneurs and provide legal, administrative, and financial advice in order to produce effective results at the lowest costs.
- Include young people in human rights work and raise their awareness about the mechanisms for defending their rights and the rights of their communities.
- Consolidate efforts to defend the rights of the persecuted, victims of violations, and marginalized groups in conflict areas and Europe.
Who can benefit from the project?
For entrepreneurs and organizations to benefit from the program:
- The initiative or institution should be concerned with human rights and aim to raise awareness of human rights, document violations, and support its victims.
- It should have already been launched, operated for a period of no less than six months, and have real outputs.
- It should be based on a youth group of three or more people from the Middle East and North Africa, regardless of their place of residence at the time of the implementation of the initiative.
- Those in charge of it should be committed to the objective human rights discourse.
Since the program aims primarily to support and empower young people with all their orientations and opinions, it does not place restrictions on the orientations of the beneficiary initiatives and institutions as long as they work to document real violations and follow up with actions on the ground through pressure and advocacy campaigns, media campaigns, projects, and others. Therefore, the criteria for selecting the beneficiary initiatives do not include their orientation, but rather their added value. Hence, although Euro-Med Monitor is limited to supporting specific aspects of the beneficiary's initiatives and institutions, it remains not responsible for any positions, releases, or orientations issued by these groups.
They said about Watering the Seeds
“Watering the Seeds is a real opportunity for dozens of emerging human rights institutions that stop working due to lack of resources and guidance from international organizations” - Sarah Al-Sheikh, a Lebanese human rights activist.
“The project gave me and my organization the opportunity to expand our work in several Arab and European countries, in addition to providing consultancy and logistical support to implement a number of media campaigns. Human rights activists, entrepreneurs, and young institutions have always needed a ‘first push’ of international organizations” - Moaz Hamed, Palestinian human rights activist.
“Arab youth need, today more than ever, a legal and rights support, not only to defend their freedoms, but to enhance the awareness of their communities and defend their rights through well-established human rights platforms in society” - Nour Naim, Palestinian human rights activist.
How to benefit from the program
If you are part of a youth group based on an initiative or a human rights organization, you can benefit from the program by sending the initiative/institution proposal to our email to Seeds@euromedmonitor.org, with an activity report for a period of no less than six months.