Monday, March 30, 2009


This CAN work!

Back at the start of the project, in 2005, I wrote a planning document, where I set out what Massar was aiming to achieve. Citizenship, responsibility, pride, empathy, choices, action, ownership of issues, contribution; these were all things I stated that the project wanted to build in Syria's young people. To be honest, it all sounded very much like wishful thinking - warm, fluffy, unquantifiable stuff.

Today I've just watched a video of interviews with young people in Lattakia with whom Massar has been working. This was uncoached, unprompted feedback about what they now think about their place in the world. And it's all there! The choice to be creative rather than destructive. The value of helping others. The discovery of one's own potential. The need to do something within the community. And best of all, this has been their own process of change and discovery, with Massar enabling rather than steering.

It's always difficult to measure the impact of what a programme like Massar does, but if ever anyone asks how we know if we're making a positive difference, from now on I will sit them down and show them this video. It's just completely inspiring to know we can make this happen.

Some clips from the video here:


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