Active Citizens

Globally connected, locally engaged

About the programme 

Active Citizens programme builds citizens who are active and empowered to influence local and global decisions, and to promote sustainable peace and coexistence among cultures. 

Active Citizens in Lebanon encourages community leaders to volunteer with our partner organisations in their areas and interact with other active citizens worldwide. 

“for every person who loves to change, for every person who loves his country, I confidently tell him through Active Citizens programme you will be empowered to create the change you want in your community”

 

Ayman Touk, Zweitini Public Garden 2013 Social Action Project, Saida – Lebanon. 

So far the programme has reached more than 5 million active citizens in more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. 

In Lebanon this year, following the Active Citizens toolkit training we have provided to more than 400 community activists, we have succeeded in bringing activists from different areas closer together.

 

 

 

How does Active Citizens work? 

First, a key national issue is identified through a needs assessment. For example, in Lebanon, the key issue for 2013 was peace building and community cohesion; in other countries the key issue could be for instance youth unemployment or environmental protection. 

Second, partnerships are formed with civil society organisations called ‘delivery partners’ who are prepared to deliver the programme locally.

The third stage is developing master trainers and facilitators of Active Citizens. These master trainers then build capacities of local facilitators who then cascade the Active Citizens programme in local communities. 

The fourth stage is developing active citizens who can design and deliver social initiative called “social action projects” that aim to make a positive change in communities.

The last stage is to connect active citizens to a global network through international study visits and exchanges with other countries, as well as through online sharing and working on joint activities with communities around the world.

Learn more about the programme and be inspired by the achievements of other Active Citizens.

Partners in Lebanon

We are proud to be working with a number of local partners and civil society organisations and municipalities that vary in reach and experience. So far, since 2010, we have managed to train more than 2,000 participants across the country and benefited more than 5,000 community members. Our work involved different areas such as Saida, Tyre, Nabatieh, Beqaa, Hermel, Akkar, Chouf, Tripoli and many others. 

What else?

The Active Citizens programme is designed to be flexible and therefore can be adapted to answer many issues. In addition to the five modules; identity and culture, dialogue, local and global citizenship, social action project and conflict resolution, other modules can be added such as gender balance, disability, social enterprise, and many others.

Want to get involved?

Visit the Active Citizens website to learn more about the programme or send your questions to the team. You can also email us at society1@lb.britishcouncil.org

International Study Visits

Each year a certain number of countries will host International Study Visits (ISV) that focus on the power of global connections and establishing links with other people engaged in social development around the world.

During the International Study Visit, one country hosts a seven-day event involving Active Citizens from different countries that have been selected by their local community organisations.

Mohamad Haytham Khalaf from Tripoli was selected to participate among other international delegates in the UK for a week. Take a look at his brilliant experience.

We work with our partners to identify representatives to attend the ISV. These Active Citizens build skills, meet with civic and civil society and share and learn around themes such as youth, conflict and the environment. On their return they share learning among their peers and support local action in their community.

Elissa Shamma from Saida started as a community activist then she joined the Active Citizens programme and was motivated to submit a Social Action Project that raised awareness about ecological best practice. Read about her recent experience at the International Study visit.

Social Action Project

Social Action Projects or SAPs are specific projects designed and undertaken by participants following the Active Citizens toolkit training and in which they collaborate with other participants in order to answer a community or common issue. 

Fighting for peace is an example of a Social Action Project which objective is to raise awareness about the risks of armed conflict and the danger of slipping again into a civil war. The documentary was co-produced by British Council under the national initiative to promote peace and community cohesion.