Given the context of political uncertainty in Libya at the national level, local civil society is of the utmost importance in the stabilisation process and to respond to local needs. However, civil society organizations (CSOs) in Libya do not have the adequate capacity to autonomously fill the gaps left by the authorities in basic service delivery due to the constraints and challenges linked to the lack of a shared national understanding on the role and mandate of civil society, and a lack of CSOs experience and capacity.
| ACTED has been working with CSOs in Libya since 2012 with the overall objective to develop a more impactful and sustainable civil society, which is empowered to play an active role as first-line responders in local emergencies and in longer-term stabilisation and development efforts in solid coordination and support to municipal authorities.
In partnership with British Council and CILG VNG, ACTED carries out activities in 21 municipalities across all Libya with a specific focus on CSOs capacity-building. The Linataawan project is funded by EuropeAid and implemented jointly by ACTED, British Council and CILG VNG to strengthen democratic governance, accountability, and local development by empowering civil society actors to participate in decision making processes, across all Libya.
Aeshah in Linataawan project
My name is Aeshah, I am 20 years old and I was born and raised in Sebha, South of Libya. I have two sisters and a brother and I grew up in a Scout family. All the members of my family are Scouts and I think this was the seed that sparked my interest in volunteering and civil society. I have always taken an active role in my community, trying to think creatively to solve solutions, working in team and taking initiatives; I acquired all these skills from an early age in the Scouts. I studied the accordion at school and I am passionate about history books. I started volunteering as a Scout in 2007 and I started working about three years ago with the local CSO Morsicor to help disadvantaged children in my town because I have always felt the responsibility towards the society I live in and the need to make it better.
In 2018 I joined a debate team with Sebha Debate Club and took part in a national competition funded by British Council. The first time I participated I was eliminated in the semi-final, but then I took part again and won the competition; it was the first time the debate competition was won in the South. Now I work with Sebha Debate Club, through which I managed two projects. The firs one aims to foster exchange and coordination among stakeholders in the health sector following the COVID-19 outbreak. The second one enhances social cohesion among young people from different communities in Sebha.
Strengthening civil society with trainings
In October 2020 I moved to Eastern Libya to enroll in a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Benghazi. However, I stayed in contact with Sebha Debate Club, through which I learned about ACTED .I participated in ACTED ToT in Benghazi in July 2021 together with 6 other young members of the civil society from the Eastern region of Libya and then trained over 50 young people like me in youth political participation and strategic planning from Jalu, Benghazi and Ajdabya between July and August 2021.
As a volunteer, the activity I enjoy the most is teaching others, as it allows me to see changes and improvements in the trainees. This is what motivated me to apply, because it is not a standard ToT after which nothing happens. Moreover, I thought it was a chance to further develop my knowledge on the , namely project cycle management, financial management, proposal writing, report writing, advocacy & communication, and training delivery. I led were very interesting experiences. The participants showed all a great commitment, and I received a very good feedback from them. I think the impact has been great on my organization, colleagues and myself too. We learned a lot, especially about proposal writing and budgeting.
I believe having this kind of training opportunities on a regular basis is crucial for CSOs, especially for those based in remote areas other than the main cities. However, to spot them it requires lot of effort, extensive research and follow-up, especially for young people like me. The experience I had through ACTED’s project was great and I hope that there will be more training opportunities in the future for me and for other youth coming from This will help my organization and civil society in general to flourish and keep working for the benefit of the community.
Under the Linataawan project, ACTED trained 22 master trainers who, in their turn, trained 145 members of 75 different CSOs from across all Libya, including remote municipalities, to enable them gain solid capacities and autonomously develop impactful project for their communities. In line with this approach, ACTED is currently supporting the trained CSOs to design and implement their projects through small sub-grants, ranging from the support to vulnerable groups such as internally displaced persons and people with disabilities, to the protection of the environment and cultural heritage.