Deadline Extended – Application: Technical and Financial Support to Interfaith Councils

The 2.5-year European Union-funded consortium SEA-AIR project aims to effectively contribute to a conducive environment for the protection of Freedom of Religious Belief (FoRB), and peaceful coexistence between diverse communities and individuals in South and Southeast Asia. Additionally, it aims to enhance local capacities to prevent and combat discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief through interfaith understanding and mainstreaming at country and regional levels.

As part of these efforts, the Network will provide both technical and small grant support to selected Interfaith Councils and other community organizations as means to strengthen FoRB and social cohesion in South and Southeast Asia. This activity supports particularly strengthening of structures or institutions to establish longer-term and more sustainable mechanisms to advance FoRB and social cohesion at the local level.

Strong, capable local Interfaith Councils and other community structures are essential to advancing FoRB and social cohesion at the community level and linking to the national and regional level when possible. This financial support intends to strengthen the capacity of these mechanisms and potentially support the establishment of new ones.

Actions that establish sustainable infrastructures, and/or other civil society and/or governance infrastructures, will be prioritized. The primary target group will be religious, traditional, women, youth and minority change makers and/or key influencers from the target countries of South and Southeast Asia who are in a position to establish and/or strengthen interfaith councils or other community structures to advance social cohesion and FoRB. 

The types of eligible activities to be supported can include actions such as: establishing of structures that campaign to oppose potential inter-communal violence and promote harmony; promote inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue and capacity building to make it sustainable, and which could include the delivery of workshops on dialogue techniques, project design, skills for social cohesion; cross-faith exposure; initiatives for communities’ awareness and recognition of other groups’ rights; integration of context sensitive and relevant peace education (intercommunal harmony) into teaching; strengthening of local capacity of interfaith councils/interfaith CBOs, and in general community based or networking activities having added value in the local/national/regional promotion of FoRB and inter-faith harmony. The selected activities and structures are anticipated to happen in the strategic priority countries relevant to advancing the project objectives in the regional level such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand. 

Beneficiaries will be selected among the initiatives with the highest potential impact, based on the relevance of their proposal according to the criteria outlined below and corresponding budget. The most competitive applications will:

  • Explain the organizational mandate;
  • Explain how the organization will work with and for a variety of stakeholders involved in intra/interfaith efforts from across the applicant’s community and/or region;
  • Describe the issue(s) and community need(s) the organization addresses, with demonstrated knowledge of conflict sensitivity (/do no harm);
  • Describe how human rights and inclusivity is acknowledged as part of the planned action;
  • Outline the objectives of the initiative and the corresponding activities;
  • Explain how the grant support will help enhance the capacity and sustainability of the organization’s initiatives;
  • Provide the total proposed cost of initiative to be supported by grant support;
  • Provide a budget detailing the timeline of activities and associated costs, with initial activities/results no later than May 2020.

Organizations interested in obtaining grant support should email a request for the application package to Mr. Philip Gassert, Project Manager, The Grant application deadline is 21 June 2020.

Beneficiaries will be selected among the initiatives with the highest potential impact, based on relevant stakeholders’ feedback (international organisations such as UN, or national or local human rights groups and where possible in consultation with the relevant EU Delegation), on the quality of their work, on the innovative value of their current work, on the need to maintain a balanced group in terms of religious tradition, gender and geographical origins. The maximum of a grant per grantee is 4,000 EUR. Grants will be disseminated in two amounts: the first installment in July 2020, and the second no later than November 2020.

The SEA-AIR project is implemented in consortium with Finn Church Aid, Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation, World Faith Development Dialogue, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and World Conference of Religions for Peace and funded by the European Union.