We are a group of individuals that has worked since 2007, along with other organizations, within the framework of the informal group, NGO Initiative, which ceased its operations on April 2018. We decided to register a new organization, as a foundation, called Civil Society Advocates, in order to continue and expand the work we are doing. The foundation is was established by 4 founders that also comprise the Board of Directors.
The organization has no paid staff. In terms of partners, it has developed, through the years, a wide network of national partner organisations throughout the island. In a European level the organization is mentored by the European Center for non-for-profit law (ECNL) and has worked with the INGO Conference of the Council of Europe.
In the past it has received funding by UNDP-ACT and is currently, modestly funded, by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Cyprus (total funds: 2500 euros).
It’s activities include lobbying and advocacy, the organization of workshops, seminars and consultations, as we well the drafting of policy and practical papers.
Civil Society Advocates aims to empower civil society organizations and improve the institutional environment in which they operate.
Civil Society Advocates works on policies and laws that aim at enhancing the influence of civil society organizations on issues of public dialogue and showcasing the important role these organizations have. In addition, it supports, through educational and other programs, civil society organizations on issues like lobbying and advocacy, good governance, strategic planning and fundraising.
Better implementation of law on Associations & Foundations: Identify and point out problems, establishment of Regulations for the law, seminars and workshops for registered organizations affected by the law (how to implement, how to comply), advice to registered organizations and organizations that want to register, publication of a Guide for already registered NGOs and groups that want to register
Participation in consultations about draft laws for the acquisition of status as a public Benefit Organisation and social enterprise.
Combatting Restrictions on Civic Freedoms Arising From Counter-terrorism & Anti-money Laundering Rules: Limitations by banks and over regulation by governmental bodies
Policy: Drafted Policy Paper ‘Civil Society in Cyprus: Building for the Future’ that is now used as a government policy
We are proponents of synergies, well founded and documented public dialogue, consultation and debating as ways to influence policy makers, empower civil society organizations and improve public perceptions of NGOs . We can contribute to the Network in our country through our expertise as an organization and as individuals on these issues. We aim to be active members of the network, because we believe in the community it provides and the value of the dialogue ALF promotes.
One of our main aims also of the organization is to operate, apart from Cyprus, to the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean countries), since we consider that collaborations and the exchange of knowledge, practices and experiences of members of civil society can vaccinate and create new ideas that will strengthen the wider civil society and bring about positive social change.