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Grassroots NGO-s sabotaged by Red Tape, says Tarek Alsaleh in TEDx Talk

About 

As reporting and data collection in the development industry become more central, grassroots actors are losing their ability to focus on their work and the people they should be helping. Tarek Alsaleh has participated in a TEDx Talk calling for human relationships to be returned to the centre of aid and outlining how technology can help to make that happen.

 

‘Every time I went to this refugee camp, I brought a thick, big blanket with me. It was freezing in the desert at night. I never complained, I never minded. But the computer, the computer sucked my energy.’

 

These are the challenges described by Tarek Alsaleh of Capoeira4Refugees in a recent TEDx talk. He went from an independent capoeira teacher working with refugee children to dealing with the mountains of paperwork involved in running an international NGO.

The need for data collection is clear, but with donors increasingly mistrusting large, opaque organisations, Alsaleh challenges charities to put real relationships above the generation of paperwork.

The good news is technology has opened countless new opportunities for local actors to create sustainable projects, especially with the support of established charities. Apps can collect data in real time, functioning on- and offline. Visibility can be gained through social media. Proposals, mentoring and support can all take place in the virtual realm. The problem, as Alsaleh puts it, is:

 

‘In the development world, every organisation competes with each other: for money, for visibility, for employees’ salaries. The small organisations, they never stood a chance. The ones who are benefiting are the middle men, the bureaucrats, and more red tape.’

 

The solution lies in relationships: ‘shaking hands instead of creating more paperwork.’ It is vital that charities embrace an approach where transparency is the watchword and local ownership of humanitarian projects the ultimate goal. These statements echo concerns raised in the Charter for Change which was produced after the World Humanitarian Summit in 2017.

Capoeira4Refugees is actively pursuing this strategy through using technology to minimise the paperwork required from local actors, leaving them free to get on with their work.

It is time to refocus the development sector, and put people back at its core. And as Tarek Alsaleh says, lets “shake hands instead of creating more paperwork.

 

The full TEDx Talk can be found here or watch it below. 

 

 

For further information please contact:

Josephine Nolan

josephine@capoeira4refugees.org

 

For more sustainable models, check out the Changemakers Programme and the Changemakers Hub!

PRESS RELEASE Announcing 4 New GrassrootsAward Winners: Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian

PRESS RELEASE

Announcing 4 New GrassrootsAward Winners: Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian

The Grassroots Award supports local youth community projects using sport and cultural activities to create positive social change in hard to reach, marginalised and refugee communities. 


Dania Abu Halima, Abed Abu Garbia, Abdullah Berzawi, and Ahmed Shweiki have won an exciting new Award to help them grow local community projects in Palestine Jordan, and Turkey.

Projects include an orphanage and youth community centre in Area C, the West Bank, a centre for refugees in Istanbul Turkey, and a women’s centre in Amman, Jordan.

The Award supports local Changemakers through an education and training programme that caters specifically to the needs of young people living through and impacted by violence, conflict and war.

We work with kids who are likely to do drugs, get caught up in extremist groups, females who live in a culture where being active is a stigma.” Says Founder, Tarek Alsaleh.

The Award also supports with mentoring, real time data collection, a network of support, and funding.

“I would love to open a school in Jordan. If God gives me the strength and the chance, I will go for it. I am looking forward to keep working with C4R and build something better” Dania, Jorda
nian Changmaker

Reaching out to female students is a fundamental part of the Awards vision.

“To have female role models and female engagement is essential if this generation of young people are to grow-up to be the empathetic, emotionally intelligent leaders of tomorrow that the region urgently needs” says CEO, Ummul Choudhury

The Award will be opening up to Changemakers working in Europe in August 2017.

About Capoeira4Refugees

Capoeira4Refugees is an award-winning NGO using sport, music and play to support refugees and conflict impacted young people.  Founded in 2007, it has been running programmes in partnership with the UN, Norwegian Refugee Council, and Brazilian Government.  C4R currently has projects running in Azraq and Zaatari refuge camps, in host communities in Jordan, its Changemaker Programme and its global network of Changemakers. C4R has reached over 60,000 refugees, worked across 20 different refugee camps and 60 communities impacted by war.

 

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Meet Dania, Changemaker Fellow, Jordan

“I will keep on living my dream and continue to work with refugees.”

We are pleased to announce our first female Changemaker, Dania Abu Halima, 24, Amman, Jordan.  Dania was awarded the Capoeira Changemaker Fellowship based on her commitment and passion to supporting women and girls in her community to have the opportunity to be physically active.

Whenever I had free time I would volunteer or train for C4R, even just train on my own whenever I could.”

Dania joined C4R as a student as part of the Ruwwad Project Partnership, a female only capoeira class. She went on to have 1-to-1 training with one of Capoeira4Refugees female trainers, developing the skills necessary to become an assistant trainer.  Dania’s presence as a female trainer in both Azraq Refugee Camp and Zaatari Refugee Camp has been inspirational for young female Syrian refugees.

For women, and girls it is especially important that there are females that are taking a leading role in civic and cultural activities; who can inspire their peers and their communities to seek positive change.

“I’m especially happy to see a female Changemaker in our programme. In the Middle East context, and exacerbated within the refugee context, women do not have anywhere near as much power as men.  To have female role models and female engagement is essential if this generation of young people are to grow-up to be the empathetic, emotionally intelligent leaders of tomorrow that the region urgently needs” Ummul Choudhury, CEO.

Dania is looking forward to growing her own community project. She dreams large, and as a Changemaker, she knows that the future  is hers for the making.

“Never to stop dreaming, this is the new rule! Honestly, I want to become something really big in Capoeira! something huge! Becoming Mestre in Capoeira! [laugh] Still, l have a lot of training to reach this one but C4R is not going anywhere. Then, I would love to open a school in Jordan. If God gives me the strength and the chance, I will go for it. I am looking forward to keep working with C4R and build something better. And even if it was not to happen, I will keep on living my dream and continue to work with refugees.”