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Father Paolo Fund

Father Paolo Grant

The destruction Raqqa province was exposed to over the past years has significantly impacted its infrastructure and the basic services in the city, leading local and international organizations as well as local government bodies to intensify efforts to restore these services.


To support those efforts, the Support Center launched a small grant program with the name of Father Paolo Community Grant, aiming to support small-scale community projects that help to rehabilitate the infrastructure and provide better services for the local community. The Center helped the organizations it incubates to develop and implement a number of small-scale community projects under the supervision of the Center staff and a group of experts in the different domains.


During the previous years of 2018 – 2019 – 2020 – 2022, those small grants represented an opportunity for the partner organizations to apply the skills and knowledge they gained during the incubation program, as those organizations implemented more than 35 service and humanitarian projects that included campaigns to raise awareness of thalassemia and diabetes in children, a campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and kidney failure, a project to raise awareness about early marriage, and another one to apply modern teaching methodologies in schools, not to mention other small projects that had a great impact on the lives and well-being of the people of Raqqa.


Those projects created jobs for hundreds of men and women, in addition to their sustainable impact in promoting civic participation and volunteering among the people of Raqqa.


The projects were selected based on the needs of the local community, the work field of the organization, and the location of its operations. The organizations selected their projects and developed the proposals with the support of the Center trainers and implemented them according to plan.

Why Father Paolo

Father Paolo Dall’Oglio is one of the prominent peace voices who, since the outbreak of war in Syria, called for democratic transition in Syria, protection of the civilians and a solution that saves the Syrian blood. He was an Italian Jesuit priest, born in November 1954. He was the founder of Deir Mar Musa Abbey, dedicated to dialogue among religions.


Since the start of the Syrian revolution, Father Paolo had called for peace and a democratic solution based on consensual democracy. He was one of the most prominent advocates for dialogue among all parties, even the most radical ones. He sent an open letter to the UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan, calling for “the visit of 30,000 non-violent observers from global civil society to Syria, to help build a democratic life, form local committees and reconciliation committees under the protection of international observers.” Due to that letter, the Syrian regime commanded his expulsion outside Syria in 2012.


In October 2012, he was awarded the Italian Lombardy Peace Prize, which is dedicated to individuals with extraordinary work in the field of peacebuilding. In 2013, Father Paolo was kidnapped in Raqqa province by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and to this day, his fate remains unknown.


The Civil Society Support Centers selected the name of Father Paolo to honor him for his contributions in supporting the peace efforts in Syria, the model he created through his field activity, and his relentless efforts to bring together different views and build trust and promote joint action, which are the values adopted by the Center since its establishment.