The Youth for a Democratic Syria initiative, taken by GPoT Center, is aimed at helping Syrian communities – particularly young people – to prepare for a future, post-conflict Syria and to strengthen the role of youth civil society in the Syrian transition. The initiative offered a 5–day democracy training workshop, which targets the Syrian youth leaders of tomorrow and provides them with in–depth training on democratic models to be used to advocate for a transparent, open, and participatory society in Syria.
The workshop lectures were designed to foster open discussion and debate amongst the participants, addressing topics such as democratic principles, participatory democratic processes, human rights, freedom of expression, free and open media, good governance, minority rights, women’s rights, civil society and capacity building, transitional justice, and political consensus building. The lectures were delivered by experts from academic institutions, think tanks, media outlets, and rights-based organizations based in Istanbul.
In addition, the training convened site visits to CNN Türk, Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Agos Armenian weekly newspaper and the Hrant Dink Foundation. The site visits aimed to give the participants the opportunity to see how transparent and rights-based institutions, media outlets, and civil society organizations operate.
The workshop took place with an equal number of men and women in the group, and ensured participation of different ethnic, religious, cultural, and educational backgrounds.