Local Community Empowerment
This report is the third activity report of Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS). It covers the year of 2017, where LDSPS had surpassed its 4th year of operations since its foundation in July 2013.
This report was written in August 2018, and although it concerns the activities of LDSPS in 2017 it is important here that since the end of 2017, very dramatic event has happened in Syria and more specifically to our teams and activities.
In February 2018, we have lost a member of our team in Eastern Ghouta (Eastern Suburb of Damascus), another one was badly injured and has to live the remaining of her life carrying a handicap and another one of our colleagues lost his wife and baby-child.
In April 2018, our team in Eastern Ghouta has to evacuate, as tens of thousands of its inhabitants to the North of Syria, as the Syrian regime forces took control of the area, six years after its liberation.
We also are still waiting and hoping for the safety of our colleagues (co-founders of LDSPS) that were kidnapped in Douma (Eastern Ghouta) in December 2013.
Like millions of Syrians, we have been strongly affected by the events of 2018 and the military advances of the regime helped by the Russian Federation Army as well as Iranian forces and the militias that they fund.
The team of LDSPS has vowed to continue its action supporting the resilience and the determination of the people inside of Syria in the areas that are out of the control of the Syrian regime. Our action will continue as long as Syrian civilians live in those areas and try to live as good as possible with the available means but with their formidable determination, motivation and creativity.
This report illustrates our own determination of 2017 that has persevered despite all the dramatic and painful events of 2018. We are still continuing our action.
During 2017, we continued the implementation of stage 2 of our LCE strategy. A major step was achieved with the start of activities in Western Aleppo Countryside (from our newly established office in Atareb). The start-up was funded by the ARC (Addressing Root Causes) Fund from the MFA of The Netherlands (covering 12 countries including Syria). LDSPS, as a lead and main party of a Consortium of 3 Syrian NGOs, managed to be part of that funding process using it contribute to its LCE strategy starting October 2016.
In Eastern Ghouta, where LDSPS was founded in July 2013, 2017 was a challenging year. Our team managed not only to resist several attacks (either from the airstrikes by the regime forces or by intimidation attempts by local groups linked to the local armed groups), but managed to contribute effectively to convincing several local councils to hold general elections to choose their Executive Board (that used to be elected by a General Assembly of local dignitaries family heads). LDSPS’s team contributed also to funding and supporting the holding of the general elections in four towns in Eastern Ghouta.
This third activity report, describes our actions in both these regions. It also gives a quick overview of our planned actions in 2018.
In the 12 months covered by this report, LDSPS started supporting additional 49 projects to reach the number of 104 projects since its start of operations in July 2013. In addition, and in preparation of 2018, by the end of 2017, 24 other projects were identified as a starting backlog of projects (a number to be compared with the number of 6 projects that LDSPS has as a starting backlog at the beginning of 2017).
A value of 49 projects that have started in 2017 and the 24 2018-starting-backlog projects amounted to $1.4M, making the total amount of funding made available to local partners since July 2013 reach a total of $4.8M.
LDSPS expenses in 2017 reached $0.5M (operational costs, Monitoring and Evaluation and money transfer costs to Syria). They have risen significantly in 2017 due to the expansion of LDSPS (both geographically and in terms of professionalization to meet the funding requirements) and to higher costs of operations and of money transfer to inside of Syria (mainly to Eastern Ghouta).
2018 is planned to be another major geographical expansion year with plans to start operations in two other areas inside of Syria that are out of the control of the regime.
To read the full report Here