SALMO is a two-year pilot project initiated by BLESS Egypt in three governorates: Cairo, Qalyobia and Asyut. BLESS adopts a participatory approach for SALMO project, and will work with one local partner in each governorate. The broad internation and purpose of the SALMO project is to improve peacebuilding and increase the capacity of the Egyptian society for social cohesion and peaceful coexistence. The initial results and experiences gained from the project will be used for scaling up and extending the project’s outcome to further communities. While the peacebuilding and conflict prevention need to involve a whole range of different actors in the society, yet; SALMO Project targets the influencers in the Egyptian community such as: Civil Society Organizations, religious leaders, Media, Nature Community leaders and public administration. SALMO Project provides platform for intergenerational collaboration as well as community engagement and mobilization.
As a part of the launching of SALMO project funded by Diakonia, BLESS Egypt organized a consultation meeting on Tuesday, November; 6th. The aim of that meeting was to streamline and advise the SALMO project workplan to identify the most efficient means to maximize the peace and tolerance among community groups in target communities. The meeting brought together academics and experts from governmental and non-governmental institutions who work on development sector, in order to strength coordination, collaboration and networking among the various partners and community influencers. The meeting started with a welcoming speech from HG Bishop Yolios, the Bishop of Public, Ecumenical and Social services to the participants. HG pointed out that the culture of peace building is derived from all religions and stressed the importance of establishing a culture of peace in society based on respect for human rights and tolerance. Dr. Hani Riad the Executive Director of BLESS made a presentation on BLESS Egypt and highlighted the vision, objectives and programs of BLESS. Dr. Riad emphasized the role that BLESS plays in improving live conditions for the most vulnerable and marginalize groups in the Egyptian communities. Mrs. Evelyn Botros, the Project Manager, presented the overall framework of the Salmo project, noting that the project advocate for the concept of peacebuilding, SALMO is based on the creation and building of society to support and adopt a culture of peace. She highlighted that the idea of the project was emanated from the sustainable development goal #16, to Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. Mrs. Botros introduced project’s direction to promote peace through targeting key peacebuilding actors such as: religious leaders, media, civil society and public authority. During the presentation it was extensively agreed by the participants that interactive activities comprised by the project is the best platform to feed community needs into the dialogue for peace and maximize the project’s impact. The meeting ended up with recommendations for instance, Develop a Conceptual Framework for the project on the concepts of peace, its references, tools, etc. adopted by the project. Give greater attention to the integration of education in peacebuilding, the importance of working on multiple levels: knowledge, attitudes and practices. Utilize media communication through radio, newspaper, and social media (WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) to portray the views of the community and promote messages of peace.