Sunday, October 5, 2008

S.O.S Presidential Poll 2008

For your information: Press Release 2008 October 05
Please find attached the results or statistics produced form an opinion poll conducted by S.O.S for the month of June and this last week.The sample size of the poll was 1,032 (which is the most appropriate sample size for a voting population of average 210,000 people) calls made to random numbers generated via a computer software.
Thank You

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Democracy Evening

August 28, 2008 was the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech, which called for racial equality in the US. Even after 45 years, the speech remains an inspiration to civil rights activists all over the world. August 26, 2008 marked the 88th anniversary of granting of voting rights for women in the USA, through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. We, the Maldivians, are also going through an exciting time, as the long process of constitutional amendment ended on August 7, 2008. The first multi-party election in the country is expected to take place within the year. To mark the 45th anniversary of 'I Have a Dream' speech, the 88th anniversary of women's suffrage, and to have a discussion on the democratization process in the Maldives, Strength of Society (SOS) and Madulu, two civil society organizations, invite you for A Democracy Evening.

Date: 4th September 2008
Time: 8 45 PM
Venue: Henveyru Boalhage

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Youth Forum ON Right To Vote

S.O.S is working to hold a voting rights educational and question and answer open forum this week. Aimed at young people at getting the message through and trying to create a participatory democracy in Maldives. The importance of a single vote and how it can change our lives. This will hopefully be a continuous effort of S.O.S and other NGO's in a series of open forums. Check our blog and face book group for updates.
There would be a presenter and he will present the information and then participants will have opportunity to question.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It is the RIGHT of every citizen above the age of 18 to go out and vote in public elections.It is our right to decide our leaders and representatives. The RIGHT to vote was a right many people died trying to secure in many countries. It is the mechanism of upholding Democracy. It is THE tool of change.OUR call is for every youth to be educated on the different presidential candidates and to get out to vote. Take your friends.Decide your future! GET OUT TO VOTE!!!A vote doesn't make you a politician but your vote counts in deciding our FUTURE


The time of Democracy and modern thinking are upon us. With fires of knowledge lit beneath every institute we are in a the eye of a storm. there is so much upon us that we need to be careful in our actions decisions and interpretations of the changes around us. One thing that we need to BELIEVE is that the future is OURS.The decisions made today will affect the Lives of us and our Children. The youth of today will stand tall tomorrow on the shoulder of laws regulations and constitutional rights agreed and acknowledged today, in our Majilis and government.If we decide to let them go ahead and do what they feel right then when the time comes for us to take over the country we shall be left vacant and empty.If we are not involved in the crucial process of change we are going through today we shall never understand or exercise our right of deciding our future.The YOUTH between ages of 18 to 25 make up more than 25% of the population. Our voice is strong if we decide to make it be heard. It is now time for us to stand observe and get involved.It is not about POLITICS, it is about our RIGHTS.Let us be united and let them hear our voice.Let us decide what we want for our future.It is our responsibility for our children.


This country might be going through reform in the political arena but if we end up with a free and modern democracy and no youth then the future is bleak. The youth needs to be addressed immediately with their problems. The government needs to take action now. It has neglected action against gang violence amidst theories of government seniors involved directly with such gangs. Parents need to be more assertive and caring. The population needs to shed tears when a single child of it is violated and hurt no matter which gang he or she belongs to. We are all in the same boat if one person rocks it the result might be everyone being toppled into the ocean. We need to care. We need to love. We need to remember we have better ways to show power and self defiance than hurting someone else physically. Lets together weep for our children and then contribute to creating a caring society than a violent one.


The international Human Rights Day 2007, 10th December is to be marked by the Maldivian Civil Society Network [MCSN]. S.O.S is a member of the network and is now working to organise the activities for the day. We seek funding and ideas of activities that can be done for the day. Please send in your ideas via email.


The objective of this meeting was to provide a forum for members of government sectors and NGO’s to work towards a more comprehensive and effective approach to health promotion in Maldives.
Topic for this session was “health effects on tobacco and substance abuse”.
DPH brought in to light the activities carried out to control tobacco use in Maldives. A tobacco act has been formulated and sent to people’s majlis for approval.
Diabetes and cancer society has been working on a tobacco cessation clinic. Nicotine patches and quick packs been introduced.
IGMH highlighted on the increased number of injuries and deaths caused by accidents. Severe head injuries and death caused due to road traffic accidents.
Youth Health café shared their experience working with difficult groups.
Journey advised on how to reach to high risk groups and shared their practices and experiences.
SOS voiced out their concern for the inclusion of youth at areas directly affecting youth. And the need to share the out comes of such meetings with other NGO’s and relevant bodies.

One DAY workshop –Youth Empowerment Program-UNICEF NNCB-12th April 2007

The purpose of this workshop was to explain the rational to advocate for the development of the youth empowerment programme in Male’ and Addu Atoll.
The meeting started outlining objectives of the workshop by NNCB and UNICEF
Introduction and icebreaking was by David and Joyce from Yakita
Journey, an anti drug NGO made presentation on “Situation of drugs (increase in number of youth and adolescents on drug, relapse and its implications”. The most common form of drug abuse in Maldives has been by smoking. Heroin (brown sugar) is the most preferred drug and then they turn to hash oil. But now it seems that most of the people switch to injecting drugs. A survey (Rapid Assessment Survey) carried out in 2003 does not show any signs of injecting drug users however a re survey in 2006 revealed a number of injecting drug users. In August 2006 there was a dramatic increase in the number of injecting drug users and 7 over dose deaths were notified. There’s a growing concern on increase in HIV and Hepatitis C positive patients.
Increase in juvenile delinquency has been noted. Most of them come out of jail as drug addicts.
Some of the factors leading to relapse that we discussed in the meeting were.
Easy availability of drugs in the society
Weak support system
Lack of proper after care
Limited facilities
Lack of recreational activities
Some of the programmes which would benefit the society are parental programmes, communication, peer education.
After the break, David and Joyce discussed the after care programmes being carried out at Yakita, Indonesia. “Drugs, Relapse, HIV/AIDS and Youth Empowerment Programme – Yakita’s model”. A replica of which will be carried out in the Maldives for a duration of 1 month in August.
Among the discussions we had during the session, everybody felt the need to empower young people, since young people with knowledge and good character would be an asset in shaping the future generations.
Group presentation on next steps – below mentioned are some of the points noted during the session.
Political will to bring a positive change. Share findings with policy makers.
Put the government on task, ask the government authorities what they have been and are doing.
Lobby, advocate and engage young people.
Advocate for transparency – let the public know what is happening.
Need for parent awareness / effectiveness programmes.
Detoxing the drug users.

SOS made a presentation at the workshop “young people sharing experience – how we, youth perceive it” in this presentation SOS member put forward the importance of incorporating this issue in to the education system. How some of the adults make it a million rufiyaa business and attain a luxurious life, whilst the society grieves over the loss of its future in to drug addiction. The importance of preventive measures to counter balance the pressures young are facing. Secondary effects of drug use, such as Hepatitis C and HIV which is increasing amongst ID users. SOS member shared a story of a friend who is going through hardships of addiction.

Other NGO’s and government bodies were present at this meeting.

PAWS-and S.O.S Childrens Evening

An enthusiastic youth group approached S.O.S for its partnership in making this event a success. S.O.S took this opportunity since it is part of its mandate to work for the betterment of the children of the Maldives. S.O.S in association with the youth group presented “PAWS”, a fun environment for the kids and their families at the artificial beach area, with the assistance and help from private personals and other organizations.

Aim of the event was to provide a safe and fun environment for children and their families and to provide a platform for parents and children to enjoy.

The children's eve "PAWS" tookplace on the 13th April 2007, Friday at the Artificial beach compound, Male’ at 1600 hrs to 1830 hrs

Following are some of the stalls which provided games for the children at the eve. Face painting & hair spray, puzzle, Traffic Park & cubes, Flag, snake and ladder & straw, free eye check, ride area for kids with skooters and twister (an auto walker)

A number of parents with their children took part in this eve making it a success and suggesting that there is a growing need for such events.

S.O.S appreciates the hard work from all members of the youth group & other organizations in making this event a success. Cheers!!!

Regional workshop among SAARC member states on “Drug use among young people”

S.O.S participated as a youth representative among the NGO sector from Maldives. In this regional level workshop S.O.S voiced out that youth participation is low among the SAARC region and voiced youth participation is very vital for prosperous future for them.

Meeting on Formulation of UNFPA’s Fourth Country Programme, 2008-2010 S.O.S participated UNFPA' s consulattion meeting on preparation of the fourth country programme.

South Asians for Human Rights is a regional member association working towards gathering information on the state of other member countries, providing ideas, working towards achieving their goals. Its member countries include India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Maldives.

This was the first of SAHR regional meetings where Maldives participated and presented a paper. This meeting mainly focused on 3 areas, Deepening democracy, Strengthening Human Rights and Celebrating diversity. The paper presented by Maldives included the outcomes of the meeting held in Male’ in a view to “the right to transparent government” with the help and assistance of required personnel from civil society.

This meeting was a profound inspiration to us since it gave light in to the wealth of experience in empowerment in our neighboring countries and also the people’s empowerment in action in the video’s.

SOS member along with 2 other members from other NGO’s represented Maldives at the meeting. This was from 14th to 16th March 2007 at Lahore, Pakistan.

This was a learning experience. S.O.S took in to note the actions taken towards young offenders. “The proposed Juvenile Justice act emphasizes the wellbeing of the child & ensures that any reaction to child offenders must be in proportion to the circumstances of both the offender & offence. A child under this act means a person who allegedly committed and offence & who at the time of the offence was over the age of 12 & under the age of 18 years.”

Education Reform -CEDAW

S.O.S believes that an effective education system can play a significant role in bringing out a positive change among the young people. Hence S.O.S started to learn about the present education system for the past two months. We met with experts from the field and there views and professional advise was taken.
Group discussions amongst youth from various sectors were conducted.
Various different issues were raised in the group discussions which showed great a need for a forum. Hence on 18th January 2007, SOS held an open forum which concluded with a set of issues of different sectors of the present education system, also a set of recommendations were compiled for different sectors.

In the past months SOS made an effort to make it's voice in differnet arenas with regard to different issues. As a youth ngo, S.O.S ensured that its voice was clearly heard and voiced out for participation of young people.

Civil Society Consultaion by Gary Streeter (MP for Devon South West)
S.O.S participated in the round table consultaion meeting by Gary Streeter. In the meeting S.O.S highlighted concerns with regard to youth.

National Health Promotion Conference S.O.S participated as a youth NGO in the conference and learnt about best practices at regional level campaings and local aswell with reagrd to health promotion.

Workshop on Mental Health Policy for the Republic of Maldives S.O.S participated in this workshop in finalizing the drafted Mental Health Policy for Maldives and voiced out youth concerns reg arding the matter and recommendations were made.

CEDAW shadow report drafting meeting S.O.S participated in this workshop and actively participated in the drafting of the shadow report by "HAMA JAMIYAA"

Human rights day activities S.O.S supported the activities initiated by two other NGOs, Maldives Detainee Network and Youth For Equality. Among the events of 10th December included a rally for human rights and a music show.

Strength Of Society-The Youth

Welcome to S.O.S. Here you will find information about S.O.S, its activities and concerns of young people. Your opinion, concerns or simply anything can be put in as comments and will be taken into great consideration for actions from S.O.S.
Strength Of Society (S.O.S) is a non- governmental organization, registered in the Maldives on the 4th of April 2006 to work for a better and prosperous future for the children and young people of Maldives.
Our vision
“A society where empowered young people act as responsible citizens and participate fully in shaping the society they live”.
• Facilitate the participation of young people in the society through awareness and training.
• Increase the participation of young people in the society as well in decision making process.
• Address issues affecting children and young people.
• Positively influence the policies affecting young people and advocate for changes.
• Foster for equal rights and opportunities among the children and young people in the Maldives.
Contact details: