|Our journey, from passion to impact! Since 2007, when Generations For Peace (GFP) was founded as a peace-through-sport initiative of the Jordan Olympic Committee, our journey has been a quest to turn passion into impact. Our focus has always been on supporting people to implement grassroots peacebuilding activities in their own communities to address burning issues of hatred, intolerance, exclusion, inequality and violence, which they are passionate about changing. Our quest to ensure their passion and effort secures ever-greater impact has driven the continuous evolution of our approach and our organisation over the last 13 years.
From our initial focus on sport as a vehicle for youth engagement and behaviour change, as we grew, we learnt from failures and successes in diverse conflict contexts, and evaluated, adapted and refined our approach to include five tools: sport, arts, advocacy, dialogue and empowerment. This flexible toolkit has allowed us to tailor activities to local situations and target groups, and our programmes often now use a combination of these tools.
So far, we have trained over 19,432 volunteers, whose peacebuilding programmes have reached more than 1,411,125 children, youth and adults in 51 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Along this incredible journey, through all the changes and adaptations, key elements have remained constant. All our programmes promote four values: youth leadership, community empowerment, active tolerance and responsible citizenship. And in all our work we keep a focus on four drivers of change: innovation, quality, impact and sustainability. This focus is reflected in our consistent ranking for the last five years within the Top 35 and most recently ranked as the “#26 NGO in the World” by NGO Advisor, based on their assessment of NGOs’ innovation, impact, governance and sustainability. Such external validation is testament to the incredible achievements of our volunteers, and shows we are on a good path. But amidst the recent upsurge of hate speech, prejudice and violent extremism, we feel the urgency of our mission and growing demand for our support to turn passion to impact. The quest goes on!
For Generations For Peace, 2020 was a year of proving our resilience through innovation and good governance: staying true to our values and focused on impact, whilst adapting to the changing needs and challenging constraints generated by the COVID19 pandemic:
Digitisation, Innovation and Adaptation amidst COVID19:
- Administered rapid assessments to GFP volunteers globally, to identify emergent needs and priorities in the wake of the COVID19 global pandemic and inform adaptations to GFP programming.
- Completed digitisation of GFP curriculum and trainings for online delivery, providing GFP the ability to continue knowledge transfer, capacity-development and mentoring online through COVID19 lockdowns, and providing an important new capability for GFP to use hybrid online and on-site learning experiences.
- Digitisation of our people-to-people peacebuilding activities: developing effective online interactions and expanding the art of the possible – even developing sport-based games suitable for online engagement.
- Completed 23 GFP programmes engaging 223,544 target group participants in a series of activities totaling more than 36 hours of high-quality contact time for each participant.
- Organized an entirely virtual 2020 Advanced Training to 75 GFP Volunteers from 13 countries, almost double the number of participants from previous years. Participants were divided into three new specialized tracks – Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning; Fundraising and Outreach; and Communications – and we will continue to provide them with specialized mentoring and training opportunities into 2021, and they will lead in functions related to these tracks within their Implementation Teams in their home countries.
- Convened the 2nd annual Amman Peace Talks virtually on the theme ““Peacebuilding amidst Pandemic”: Addressing the violence of exclusion amidst COVID-19”, with 8 speakers from 7 countries presenting their personal experiences of peacebuilding amidst COVID19.
Significant innovation in programme activities, including:
- Use of Sport-based activities for Prevention of Violent Extremism
- Code For Jordan programme: female and male Jordanian and Syrian Refugee youth with Municipality officials on software coding projects to enhance public service delivery
- Establishing youth-led dialogue spaces online and on-site for youth to engage with Community Policing officials and community stakeholders, to strengthen community resilience and human security.
- Developed new curriculum content on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)
- Developed and rolled-out a new GFP programme Quality Assurance process
Made major innovations and advances in our social behaviour change communications (SBCC) work (in both non-fiction and fiction communications):
- Produced an award-winning fictional TV series Endline, which aired on a prime TV spot nationally in Jordan and received recognition from two international film festivals
- Collaboration with UN Women on a social media advocacy campaign to address attitudes about gender norms.
- Developed a new Media For Peace strengthening conflict sensitivity, gender sensitivity and peacebuilding knowledge of media journalists and editors and social media influencers
Diversified funding sources and strengthened financial sustainability amidst COVID19 challenges:
- New donor collaborations secured during 2020 with:
- European Union
- Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Laureus Sport For Good Foundation
- Olympic Refuge Foundation
- RDPP (a coalition of European governmental donors)
- UN Women
- US Department of State
- Launched an organization-wide effort to develop new fundraising and outreach collateral (proposals, concept notes, videos, one-pagers, webpages, etc.) that will move us from reactive to proactive engagement with donors and partners
- Revamped our pre- and post-award grant processes to enable better inter-departmental coordination, and improve the quality of grant reporting.
New innovative collaboration with the private sector:
- Kicked off a new partnership with ProgressSoft Corporation, a global innovative real-time payment solutions provider, for a coding programme in which Syrian refugee and Jordan youth work together to use technology to find creative solutions that improve public service delivery at the national and local level.
Extended our reputation as a thought-leader and technical expert in the peacebuilding sector:
- Selected by USAID for the competitive USAID Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Accelerator and pre-qualified to bid on service contracts as a strategic new revenue stream
- Hosted the “Peace in Our Cities” global meeting at GFP HQ in Amman, with representatives from 15 cities across the globe, dedicated to halving urban violence by 2030.
- Hosted the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Forum on Sport for Peace and Development at GFP HQ in Amman, with representatives from Jordan, Palestine and Japan.
- Presented two separate sessions at Alliance for Peacebuilding “PeaceCon2020”, Geneva Peace Week, the Global Peace Foundation Forum in Belfast, Jordan Conference on Countering Violent Extremism, UNODC’s Sport For Prevention of Violent Extremism Conference, the United Through Sports Global Youth Festival, the Olympic Refuge Foundation Community of Practice, the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation’s Community of Practice, the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation’s Annual Awards, the Symi Symposium, COVID19 Scenarios planning of Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF), the Positive Deviance 30th Anniversary Global Conference, and “Thrive Working Remote” sessions of The Change Leaders.
- GFP Institute selected to lead research in Jordan on Prevention of Violent Extremism as part of a multi-country multi-year research study funded by European Union.
- Elected by youth to serve as the co-Secretariat of the Jordan 2250 Coalition together with UNFPA. In 2020 this group WHAT.
- GFP’s CEO elected to serve a second term on Steering Group of the PlusPeace Global Peacebuilding Coalition.
- GFP’s Institutional Learning Director awarded Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship Award 2020, and a PhD Candidacy at the UN-mandated University of Peace.
- GFP’s USA Representative and Director of Partnerships and Development awarded a Gratitude Foundation Fellowship
Deepening our USA engagement:
- Concluded our first-ever GFP pilot programme in the USA, focused on strengthening youth resilience to violence on the South Side of Chicago, which demonstrated significant measurable impacts and demand for programme expansion.
- Invited to facilitate sessions on Sport for Peace and Development at the annual Los Angeles Youth Summit in January 2020
- Facilitated introduction of the world’s first-ever domestic Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) Act into the US Congress in collaboration with our partners in the US YPS Coalition
- Entered into a new partnership with the prestigious Washington Center, and recruited fundraising, outreach and advocacy to support GFP activities in the USA.
- Kickstarted recruitment of Board Members for a new and independent GFP USA Board of Directors, who will guide our strategy in the US and fundraising efforts in the United States.
Governance through challenging financial scenarios:
- Conducted COVID19-related financial scenarios planning in March and passed an emergency amended budget in May, reflecting a predicted loss of 51% of GFP’s unrestricted funding and overall drop by 35% of our annual budget. Introduced early and prudent cost-cutting measures and capitalized on cost-effective digital online programming approaches, and new revenue streams from renting out office space and leveraging out knowledge assets to offer services. Secured unanimous consent from all staff to adopt temporary salary cuts on an equitable sliding scale basis, from May-December. In January 2021, we reinstated staff salaries to pre-COVID19 levels.
Environment and Climate Emergency
- GFP achieved our first-ever “net-zero” carbon footprint, completing a certified process to calculate our carbon emissions, review and reduce our carbon footprint, and offset remaining carbon emissions to net zero.
- Developing new GFP curriculum content on Environmental Peacebuilding
- Supporting youth-led community initiatives, such as campaigning against single-use plastic and supporting plastic bag exchange for reusable fabric shopping bags.
2020 would again have been GFP’s best-ever financial year, but COVID19 impacted funding, reducing unrestricted funding by 51% and overall annual budget by 36%, mostly due to programme timelines being extended and activities transitioning to lower-cost online modes of delivery. At the same time GFP secured a number of significant new grants through 2020, and also pivoted to leverage all assets of the organisation to develop new revenue streams including converting storage space to rent out as a fully-furnished office, offering consultancy and training services, and offering monitoring & evaluation services (with GFP being selected by USAID to build M&E capacity of other NGOs and CSOs).
For more on the history and approach of GFP, please visit our website. We are inspired by what we do. If you are too, then please join us, partner, donate, or simply share our story.