Entrenched discriminatory practices and cultural stereotypes often present barriers that prevent certain ethnic and religious groups from using the same political spaces available to other citizens. These groups are not always minorities, and the causes surrounding their marginalization are varied. To help these ethnic and religious groups become active members of society with the rights, responsibilities and respect afforded to all citizens, NDI conducts programs to help them exercise their civic voice and increase their political participation.
NDI partners with local organizations and individuals that understand these groups’ unique cultural context and community dynamics. To build relationships and foster alliances across religious and ethnic divides, NDI often uses its convening power to bring representatives from these marginalized groups together with mainstream political leaders. Through NDI programs, these groups can then begin dialogues and take joint political action on issues like voter education or public service delivery. Combined with the support NDI provides in developing political skills, this builds a new cadre of effective leaders more willing to compromise and reach out to members of different ethnic and religious groups. Providing emerging leaders with hands-on political experience helps build the skills they need to advocate on behalf of their community.
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NDI's work upholds the idea that democracy is a human right – a principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it's a human right that many around the world still struggle to attain. You can be part of the solution. Join the movement for democracy.