I. ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND:
CIVITAS is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Gaza. CIVITAS was established in June 2001 as an initiative of democrats, young community leaders, journalists, activists, human rights and civil society advocators.
CIVITAS is considered as a continuity of the efforts that were exerted by its team in strengthening civil society and community democratization since August 1995 under the name of CIVIC FORUM as a program of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs N.D.I, then was registered legaly in Gaza on November 2001.
CIVITAS aims for achieving sustainable community development through many strategies that aim to empower civil society bases by working in many aspects such as: increasing awareness, implementing advocacy programs, leadership & institutional development, seeking independent media, supporting local and voluntary initiatives, and organizing communities by capacity building and experiences exchange.
CIVITAS seeks for compliance its goals through empowering civil society principles and grouping all efforts of those who believe and are involved in the community democratization process.
Further more, CIVITAS believes that nothing could be done without creative initiatives, so we look for supporting these initiatives and giving them high priorities.
CIVITAS sees that reform and development as a corner stone element and factor that can carry out the change and shaping a better future to Palestinian society through education, training, empowerment, and a government watch dog.
CIVITAS has the following main units that work as programs: Democracy & Governance Unit, Civil Society Unit, Field researches Unit, and Media & Culture Unit as well.
II. CIVITAS Goals:
• Increase community awareness about civic issues towards expanding and deepening democratic practices, principles, and behaviors.
• Develop local leaders in order to have a major role in creating future leaders.
• Building the capacity of the Palestinian institutions and strengthening the relations between different sectors of the Palestinian society.
• Support different civil initiatives and networking them in order to link between community civil bases.
• Provide civic forums and platforms for community leaders and their grassroots towards achieving consensus.
• Take part in readiness for independent media by supporting helpful efforts and attitudes towards that.