John Smith Memorial Trust In Beirut And Amman

John Smith Memorial Trust In Beirut And Amman

Following almost a year’s involvement with the John Smith Memorial Trust’s fellowship programme, Integrity Associate Garry Corcoran joined Holly Stringer and Harry Todd from the Trust to visit programme participants in Beirut and Amman. The visit allowed them to spend time with the John Smith Fellows and follow up on the implementation of their leadership Action Plans, whilst also promoting the forthcoming November and March programmes. Garry had one-on-one meetings with the Fellows while Holly and Harry met with potential candidates to introduce the programme and explain how the application process worked to interested potential candidates. Most of the Fellows managed to join the group dinners in Beirut and Amman where there was lively debate among the network and of course a focus on the delicious Lebanese cuisine! The team also met with embassy officials interested in learning more about how the fellowship programme works and with organisations and institutions interested in participating.

John Smith was the leader of the Labour Party until his sudden death in 1994. The John Smith Memorial Trust is a charity and was established in 1996 to honour him and promote his ideals of democracy, social justice and good governance.

The Trust set up a fellowship programme in 1996 designed to introduce young future leaders to the institutions and practices of democracy as they have evolved over time in the United Kingdom. It seeks to show how a mature democracy supports and develops good governance, the Rule of Law and the vindication of human and legal rights. It also shows how our form of democracy fosters and supports voluntary and other non-governmental organisations that seek to secure the relief of poverty, to empower disadvantaged groups and to give a voice to those who currently lack political influence. The programme involves the fellows attending three weeks of workshops and placements in the UK alongside an opportunity to network and develop an Action Plan to be implemented over the subsequent twelve months.

The fellowship programme has engaged with young future leaders from the former Soviet Union countries and in 2012 began a new fellowship programme working with young leaders from Middle Eastern and African countries. Integrity has been privileged to have the opportunity to engage with the Trust and these young leaders. Integrity has been working with the Trust in supporting the three-week programme of activities that are held in the UK and in developing a Monitoring and Evaluation approach that maintains relationships with the fellows in discussing the implementation of their Action Plans and the emergence of the fellows’ network in and between countries.

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