Active participation: It’s your right!

Inspiring the Social Change in a new era in Egypt


Dina Atef giving a presentation on rights in the constitution

We have been asked frequently what inspires social change in Egypt after the 25th of Jan Revolution. What has impact on policy making? What really motivates us to do social good?

 

Our answer was always: active participation!

 

Dina Atef and Christin Nabil, two activitists from the Kasr El Doubarah Church, which had a pivotal role of tending the wounded during the revolution, attended the Social Contract Center's training of the trainers "Constitution Awareness Raising Training: For Better Understanding of the Constitution" which aims at creating a constitutional rights & duties culture at all level, in addition to introducing the definition of Citizen & State's rights and duties and guarantee obligation to them, to ensure the effective participation in the Constitution Making Process and the Referendum later on.

 

"We benefited a lot from the Social Contract Center Training of the Trainers, the content is very rich and we replicated the training by organizing five events for around 300 citizens and we still receive more requests from NGOs to replicate it in Upper Egypt in around 16 villages. With the support and coaching of the SCC facilitators we have been able to reach out for regular and illiterate citizens." says Dina Atef.  

 

The spark of the Egypt's Constitution Awareness initiative comes out from Social Contract Center, a UNDP Project that was established in 2007 and will be running till 2013, with a total budget of 7 Million US Dollars, while the UNDP Head Quarters has allocated 300.000 US Dollars for this initiative in particular.

 

In addition, UNDP supported the Social Contract Center constitution initiative initially by allocating the financial resources to organize the event on "International Best Practices on the Constitution Making Process" that was held in Cairo, last February, hosting two international experts, Dr. Yash Ghai and Dr. Gill Cottrell, to provide the best international practices for an inclusive constitution making process.

 

The SCC is currently holding a series 100 Training of Trainers workshops in all Egyptian governorates to implement the "Constitution Awareness Raising Training: For Better Understanding of the Constitution", the target is to train at least 6000 trainers in all governorates.

 

"It was great to use the 15 educational video and audio clips that were produced by the Social Contract Center in partnership with Qabila Team to introduce the basic concepts of a Constitution, knowing that they were highlighted in Al Jezeera TV news as number one watched videos on YouTube in Egypt." Says Christin Nabil

 

With the release of the First Draft of the new Egyptian Constitution, we started explaining to the participants, using these videos, the different concepts, transferring the know-how to read a Constitution; their reaction to such skill was amazing, especially from the illiterates, who requested extra copies of the training content to share with their families and neighbors, Christin Nabil explained.

 

Dr. Sahar El Tawila, SCC Director, said we always believe that change in Egypt could happen because we are motivated by the core values of a New Social Contract and its impact on the Egyptian social life, however, for the change to happen, people needs the inspiration to act and we, at SCC, believe that we provided the spark for the start.