The general objective of the programme is to contribute to the development of a healthy democratic culture in Egypt. More specifically, the project endeavors to provide a diverse group of young people with democratic values, knowledge and skills through a carefully prepared democracy education. We thereby hope to help them become harbingers of change who will actively participate in political and/or community life. The underlying idea is that there can be no democracy without democrats.
Inspiration through education
Aside from providing a selected group of young Egyptians with democratic skills and knowledge, the Democracy Schools have also proven to be a source of further inspiration for some of the graduates. At the yearly Democracy School alumni gathering organised by the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute, graduates share their experiences and the projects they have embarked on since graduating. Several graduates have gone on to form new organisations working on democracy training or developmental issues. Furthermore, the Democracy School curriculum has been adopted and used in several political parties, after party members have graduated from the Democracy Schools.
Both political parties, public administration and much of the general society lacks experience in working democratically. Through the Democracy School programme, we therefore aim at educating carefully selected young Egyptians from the political parties, public administration and civil society organisations, in democratic principles, local governance, public policy, media, active participation skills and budgeting. The education will give them both the knowledge and the tools to act democratically in the parties, institutions or organisation, where they work. Additionally, the education will inspire some students to start up new organisations or training academies, thereby building a democratic tradition that exceeds the Democracy Schools themselves.
The programme entitled Democracy Schools is a concerted effort by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy (DIPD) and the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI). Up until now, two Egyptian organisations has functioned as implementing agencies, namely the Cairo Center for Human Development (CCHD) and the Egyptian Democracy Academy (EDA). CCHD and EDA has each run a Democracy School in Giza and Monufeya, respectively, with approximately 30 participants per school.