The FCV in the Gulf countries

The FCV participates in the Second International Conference ‘Excellency in Social Work’, which was held in Manama (Bahrain), from October 5 to 7, organized by the Bahrain Voluntary Work Society.

With the participation of more than 150 delegates from 16 countries, NGO leaders, managers and social workers of both public and private entities that are offering social services in the countries of the Persian Gulf and in the Arab countries, the conference had as its main objective to exchange experiences and knowledge on which are the most useful tools for measuring the impact of social work and for ensuring its sustainability.

Over 3 days, the FCV participated in an intensive program of presentations, workshops and informal meetings with leaders and experts of organized civil society, university professors, businessmen and government representatives, with whom we have been able to share tools, experiences and reflections, looking for new opportunities for mutual learning and collaboration.

Lluc Martí, program coordinator at the FCV co-facilitated a 3-hour workshop, with the participation of university students from various centres around the country, dedicated to identifying some of the regional social, economic,  cultural and environmental challenges in the current global context, favouring reflection, the exchange of ideas, and providing with examples on how young people can make the difference and be part the solution to many of these challenges, through their participation in various types of voluntary initiatives.

The FCV had its own stand at the conference, where it offered information about its programs and activities, which was attended by many of the delegates and authorities, representatives of Saudi royalty and the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, who showed interest in the FCV activities and, of course, about the city of Barcelona.

Participating in the conference has allowed us to establish a fruitful dialogue with representatives of NGOs and with a group of university students, and, thus, to better understand their concerns and needs; to strengthen collaboration with entities in Morocco and Algeria and to create new relationships with entities in these countries, Tunisia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and, logically, Bahrain.

The other European entities that, together with the FCV, were invited to the event were: International Drama Institute Without Borders (Germany), Cultures du Monde (France) and Piozone (United Kingdom).

Despite the differences that may exist around countries and world regions, the most critical social, economic and environmental challenges are very similar everywhere (climate and humanitarian crisis, exclusion of the most vulnerable people and communities) and, then, international partnerships, networking and multi stakeholder collaboration is needed.

The event has also reminded us the genuine interest of many non-profit and volunteer entities to partner with European entities, to learn about new experiences, practices and tools.

For more information about the conference and its results, you can send an email to projectes@catalunyavoluntaria.cat (Lluc).

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