We see thriving, diverse and culture rich communities as fundamental both to Syria’s prosperity and to our shared sense of national identity. In particular, we believe a more self-determining and more sustainable society can be built by creating stronger communities. Our activities focus on three main objectives; enabling better self-organisation of communities, making community centres the focal point for enriched local engagement, and creating a positively reinforcing environment for volunteering.
Our community engagement efforts are supported by hundreds of volunteers, who willingly give up their time to make a real difference to other people’s lives. The Trust advocates for volunteerism nationally by mobilising volunteers and encouraging the integration of volunteering into development programmes. Recognising that volunteers are motivated by diverse factors, we are committed to engaging them in meaningful activities suited to their skills and interests. We provide our volunteers with the necessary support and recognition to enable them to perform their roles effectively. Volunteers are also invited, and encouraged to participate in decision- making and governance, and to voice their opinions on improving the work in which they are involved. In this way, the Trust believes it is playing its part in creating a positively reinforcing volunteering culture.
The groundwork for the Trust’s engagement with and empowerment of communities takes place in its network of community centres. We see our centres as focal points: places where people can come together and connect within their communities. Centres are positively reinforcing environments, which encourage and support people to become more active, confident and resilient in tackling the challenges they face on a daily basis. The centres provide access to social networks, facilities and resources to stimulate community activity that satisfies the needs of constituents. Over time, they have come to form an integral part of the social fabric of their communities.
We believe communities have a latent power to make things happen for themselves. We are dedicated to showing them the way so that they can go on to lead for themselves; it is about nurturing a shift in mindset from one of waiting for things to happen, to one of making them happen. By self-organising and taking ownership of their affairs, communities can breakground on, and influence matters, that they would never have otherwise considered tackling. They are able to come together as one voice to engage local authorities on issues central to their wellbeing, including the repair of public facilities and the creation of specialised public services for the disadvantaged. Additionally, communities mobilise their own resources and those of partners within the Trust Network to influence solutions in a way that improves the prospects of long-term sustainability.