In 2010, a group of European and Middle Eastern motivated young men launched a youth-led initiative to advocate for human rights in the region, focusing on empowering youth and young leaders who aspire to bring about positive change in the two areas.
Later in 2011, the group’s advocacy and rights work won considerable attention and significantly contributed to observing and monitoring human rights violations in Europe and the Middle East, which necessitates registering the group as an International Human Rights organization in Geneva.
During the following years, this organization had grown into an international organization that includes dozens of volunteers of different nationalities worldwide. The motivation and derive that led this young team of human rights defenders was the belief in the necessity of positive change and the urgency of preserving human rights and freedoms. The organizations have managed to accomplish a widescale of human rights work that varies from documenting violations, implementing initiatives, launching campaigns and projects to support marginalized groups, victims of violations and vulnerable communities.
Inspired by the story of launching the international human rights group and observing the success and growth of the organizations, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor decided to extend its mission of empowering youth and advocating for positive change. In 2017, Euro-Med Monitor launched a program that replicates its founding process by supporting other budding youth groups who aspire to bring change in the region and those who fight for human rights and freedoms in war-torn countries. The support provided by Euro-Med includes 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.
“Watering the Seeds is an attempt to empower the Arab youth and give them the means they need to become more effective in making a positive change in countries where violations and the systematic suppression of freedoms are practised,” said Nada Nabil, spokesperson for Euro-Med Monitor. “We aspire to increase the number and impact of human rights initiatives and institutions in the MENA region, especially in conflict areas, such as the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Euro-Med Monitor said that training these entrepreneurs and providing them with legal, administrative and financial support will have remarkable results that will reflect on their community.
“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,” said Sarah Al-Sheikh, a Lebanese human rights activist who benefited from the project.
“The program allowed our team to expand our work in several Arab and European countries, in addition to providing consultancy and logistical support to implement many media campaigns. Human rights activists, entrepreneurs, and young institutions have always needed a “first batch” of international organizations,” added Moaz Hamed, Palestinian human rights activist.