Sep 16, 2020
The USAID-funded Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) provided training to 28 youth leaders from diverse ethnic backgrounds in the Monaragala District to counter the spread of fake news and hate speech online that became rampant following the Easter Sunday bombings, the group learned how to educate people on deciphering legitimate from fake news, in part by becoming savvy about news sources and photos, and what to do when they see coverage they know is disingenuous and intended to incite violence. In addition to receiving social media training, participants learned to play an advocacy role in their communities to raise awareness about important community issues through the positive use of digital and social media.  The participants verified social media posts with... Read more
Sep 10, 2020
There are various instances in Sri Lanka’s history when tensions between ethnicities have resulted in turbulence and bloodshed. Over the years, instances such as the insurgencies, three decades of armed conflict and the Easter attacks last year increased distrust and disharmony among ethnicities. Politicians take advantage of ethnic divisions for their political objectives which causes further fragmentation of society. While there are laws and citizens' rights promoting ethnic harmony, there remain structural social injustices which people don’t know how to counter. USAID SCORE, implemented by Global Communities, launched ‘Peace Incubators’ for youth between the ages of 16 – 35 years old belonging to different ethnicities and religions in Jaffna and Kandy Districts. This activity is... Read more
Feb 20, 2020
The recent ‘Cyber Guardians Forum - The Role of Social Media in Transforming Sri Lanka,’ organized by Search for Common Ground (SfCG)  with  USAID SCORE/Global Communities support, revealed several milestone achievements of the SfCG’s Cyber Guardians project under the SCORE program. More than 100 youths were trained in social media at three boot camps, resulting in more than 125 posts per month by 20 National Champions over 10 months, yielding a monthly reach of over two million social media users and engagement with over one million users per month. Ten youth social media projects also received 10 seed grants. The numbers show that the project, aimed at countering hate speech and fake news on social media to promote social cohesion and reconciliation by youth, had successfully achieved... Read more
Aug 12, 2019
Using sports as a vehicle for reconciliation and increased social cohesion, USAID SCORE together with the National Youth Services Council organized a sports festival recently in Maduruketiya, at the school grounds in the Monaragala district. SCORE is a three-year social cohesion and reconciliation activity implemented Global Communities to strengthen Sri Lankan led efforts to advance social cohesion and reconciliation through community platforms. 250 Sinhala and Tamil youth club members of the National Youth Council participated in the festival, which empowered the youth to help bridge the divide between ethnic groups, creating unity and tolerance among youth in the region. As part of the festival 17 teams of mixed ethnicity took part in a volleyball tournament aimed at forging positive... Read more
Jul 08, 2019
Pias Sandrakumar, a 26-year-old fisherman from the resettled village of Ilawalai North West in Jaffna in the conflict-affected North of Sri Lanka, used to worry when he would take his boat out in case of technical problems. Now, however, he is able to go out to sea for fishing with less worry now that he has better knowledge of engine repairs. Through the USAID-funded Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) program, Global Communities is working with the Government of Sri Lanka and local civil society organizations to address underlying challenges to reconciliation. The program works by promoting a shared and inclusive Sri Lankan identity, reducing socio-economic disparities, and strengthening cohesion and resilience among multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities.  Tamils from this... Read more
Oct 05, 2018
PORTRAITS in COLOMBIA: Youth Helping People Overcome the Trauma of Violence View the photo gallery below or at the link here.
Aug 31, 2018
Durreyeh Neqdeli — Committed to Serving Her New Community Young refugee helps bridge the gap between Syrians and Jordanians through community service
Durreyeh (on left) is the first Syrian member of the Community Enhancement Team in her small community in Jordan. Durreyeh Neqdeli is only 25 years old, but she has already experienced a lot. Five years ago her family made the difficult decision to leave their home in Syria and move the family to the safety of Jordan. With her parents and four siblings, the Neqdelis found refuge in No’aimeh, a small community in Irbid City. They arrived with nothing, but full of hope for a fresh start. Syrian families often face social, psychological and economic challenges as they work to rebuild their lives. The transition was challenging for... Read more
Apr 02, 2018
Five Reasons Why Water Security Matters to Global Security By Franky Li, WASH Technical Advisor for Global Communities  |  This blog originally appeared on Medium. Across the globe, populations face the challenge of growing water scarcity. More than one-fifth of the world’s population — 1.6 billion people — live in areas that are suffering from water scarcity of some type. This includes “physical scarcity,” which means there is a not an adequate volume of water to meet people’s needs, and “economic scarcity,” which results from a lack of investment and proper management of infrastructure. In both cases, whether physical or economic, the situation for most countries... Read more
Mar 23, 2018
Community-Driven Development Methods for South Sudan: Key Findings and Recommendations The USAID Promoting Resilience through Ongoing Participatory Engagement and Learning (PROPEL) program was designed to foster social cohesion and resilience in targeted communities in Jonglei, Lakes, and Eastern and Central Equatoria states in South Sudan through a Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach. The CDD approach is inclusive, ensuring representation of all community segments; transparent coordination with local leaders; targeted outreach to women; gender sensitization across the community to promote women’s voices in decision-making; strategic communication and grievance redress mechanisms throughout project... Read more
Sep 21, 2017
Reclaiming their Voices: One Community’s Struggle to Overcome Fear and Build Peace in Rural Colombia Alfonso spent most of his youth living in fear. Twenty years ago when he was just an infant, 16 community leaders in his small village of Pijiguay were massacred by a paramilitary group that publicly crushed their skulls with rocks to terrify the villagers. While it sounds shocking this was not unusual. Pijiguay is located in the Montes de Maria region of Colombia, an area which saw some of the worst violence during the country’s 50-year-long civil war.
The human cost borne by Colombia’s rural communities as the result of decades of civil conflict is massive. Of more than 200,000 victims of the violence, 177,000 were civilians, most of whom lived in poor rural communities. For... Read more
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