Active Citizens is a non-profit programme which promotes understanding of different cultures within local, national, and global communities. Since 2009, it has worked in 54 countries, supported almost 8,000 social action projects, and provided 210,000 people with social leadership training.
None of this would have been possible without the almost 700 partners who work with the British Council across the globe at Delivery Partners. Getting involved in Active Citizens has helped them to support social action projects and take part in international visits, workshops and networking events.
By bringing together people from different cultures, beliefs and perspectives, we can provide more opportunities to learn, share stories, and ultimately create a fairer, more inclusive Scotland.
What are Delivery Partners?
There are many ways for individuals and organisations to take part. This may involve following our journey on social media and attending our events, or volunteering with our partners and even setting up their own social action projects.
For organisations, the most effective way to get involved is to become a Delivery Partner in their local, national, or global community.
Delivery Partners can come from a diverse range of sectors: grassroots social movements, religious groups, sports teams, businesses, education providers, charities, youth organisations, artists and social entrepreneurs.
The British Council pays a grant as a contribution towards the costs of running Active Citizens programme activities and to facilitate international and UK networking and exchange.
Delivery Partners can choose to deliver Active Citizen’s as a stand-alone programme, or as a component of a wider project.
So why become a partner?
The benefits of partnering with the Active Citizen’s programme are vast. By getting involved in a global movement of cultural understanding and learning, your organisation can:
- become better connected, locally, nationally, and globally
- reach new audiences
- improve cross-cultural knowledge and communications skills
- learn new or alternate approaches to your work
- build an inclusive, forward thinking, and understanding work environment
- benefit from potential media coverage
- increase community participation
- meet new/potential stakeholders
- benefit from opportunities for cross sectoral collaborations
- gain volunteers
In addition, your involvement will directly benefit your community by:
- furthering understanding and knowledge of different cultures and beliefs
- facilitating the learning of new skills and increasing social development
- forging international ties and increasing international opportunities
- improving participation in local events, and projects
- reducing tension between different cultures or groups
- creating a fair, inclusive, and resilient society
Each programme combines a set of core elements with highly flexible country-specific planning. This means well-planned and meaningful projects can be delivered to relevant communities around Scotland.
Previously, this approach has seen successful projects take place in East London, post-election Kenya, the North-West Frontier Pakistan Province and with Internally Displaced Persons in Sri Lanka.
How does a partnership work?
In Scotland we work with the Scottish Government and relevant civil society and third sector organisations to identify national priorities and relevant themes. Then we determine target audiences, geographical areas, and social development opportunities.
Next, we recruit local organisations as partners to deliver the Active Citizen Programme in their communities. Induction meetings are held to discuss aims, processes and plans. Working together, we develop programme content to reflect the agreed national themes and priorities.
Finally, partner organisations identify individuals to take on the role of Active Citizen Facilitators, individuals who receive training on providing social action workshops directly in local communities.
Can my organisation become a partner?
There are no set rules when it comes to who we partner with, but the following can be of benefit:
- access to community networks and affiliate groups
- experience of working with diverse communities
- experience in running projects
- good media connections
Most importantly, we are looking for an interest in social leadership and global citizenship, and a commitment to our Active Citizen goals.
The next deadline for applications is at 23:00 on Monday 4 June 2018.
To find out more, visit the Active Citizen pages on the British Council website. If you would like to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the programme, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.