FEMYSO Advocacy Incubator 2021 is a holistic programme for young people to develop their advocacy skills to tackle issues such as discrimination. Throughout our work, we have observed that a lack of advocacy skills specifically among young Muslims results to inefficient or absence of advocacy as a whole, contributing to policies passed that infringe on their rights of all.
FEMYSO has identified the need of developing this programme, with each session designed to directly uplift our Member Organisations, to ensure their advocacy can be as effective as possible.
FEMYSO’s aims for the project are the following:
- To provide individuals with bespoke high-level training both online and physical focused on making them the best possible for their communities.
- For the individuals who attend helping them become multipliers to help train other activists from there organisations and communities.
- To create advocacy leaders who can identify talent and create networks which can support Muslim advocacy on a local and national level in areas, based in a belief of universal human rights.
We encouraged applicants from all ethnic, cultural, migrant and ability backgrounds to apply, as well as all socioeconomic situations.
The first session was held in Tirana, Albania with 18 incredible participants hailing from 11 different countries across our region. The first session focused on Local and National Advocacy with expert trainers from Amnesty International, , Parliamentarians and former high-level political advisors.
Following an intense 5-day session, each participant was provided with an internal mentor to support them with their advocacy activities up until the second Advocacy Incubator. In December 2021, the second physical training took place in Strasbourg, France, thereby meeting the objective of the programme to bridge the East-West gap. 24 participants from 14 countries attended.
Sessions included were behavioural science, strategic litigation and effective European advocacy. We also held two crisis rooms, a method bringing a group of people to think of either a real or hypothetical situation, to practice emergency response coordination and to practice super forecasting. The first crisis room was about a real situation – the one of the escalating security in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second was about the hypothetical scenario of hijabs banned from universities in France.
Finally, as part of the programme we also visited the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), where we were kindly hosted by the Secretariat of the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.