Funded by the European Union and managed by OMSAR, AFKAR Program is setting the paths to build a strong partnership between the Public sector and the Lebanese civil society.
The main objective of the Program is to strengthen the capacities and accountability of the civil society organizations and increase their involvement in the policy dialogue with the Lebanese Government.Creating a process of partnership and network between the CSOs themselves on one hand and between CSOs from one side and municipalities and the academic sector from the other side is a priority.
Two versions of this program that provides technical and financial assistance to CSOs have been implemented. As a Pilot Project, AFKAR I started in January 2004, with one million € grant from the European Union.
16 projects related to Human Rights were successfully implemented within 3 sectors of intervention: Rule of law, Dialogue, Vulnerable Groups. Awareness and advocacy campaigns and other activities for different causes were leaded by the granted CSO s. Supported by experts of a Technical assistance, 5 Training workshops and 4 roundtables were organized to enhance the capacities of the Civil Society.
In the streamline of AFKAR I, AFKAR II adopted a developed version that targeted Human Rights as well but highlighted particularly the legal aspects of major causes. Different groups were targeted: youth, women, journalists, children, students, prisoners, drug addicted, and persons with handicap etc.
With a 3 million € grant from the European Union, AFKAR granted 24 projects that were implemented in 2 sectors of intervention: Rule of Law and Dialogue. Many success stories and lessons learnt were registered in this phase. Drafting a code of ethics for the journalists, reconsidering the image of the women in the school books, adopting a material for education on environment in public schools etc. represented examples of this success.
In addition, new laws were drafted and endorsed (The law against domestic violence, the law for mental health); implementation decrees for other laws were suggested and adopted (Law for handicapped persons); advocacy and awareness towards the implementation of some other laws were conducted (The law for drug addicted, the abolition of death sentence). 8 Training workshops and 8 roundtables were organized to enhance the capacities of the Lebanese Civil society.