The pen and the written word are powerful tools for upholding free expression, cultural rights and democratic governance. Through creative expression, Commonwealth citizens have the ability to advocate for the legislation that underpins these rights.
How are we helping
Supporting PEN's project to strengthen a network for civil society engagement to advocate for free expression, cultural rights and democratic governance.
About the project
PEN International (founded 1921) is a global community of writers, who work to promote literature and defend freedom of expression. The organisation will target measures to build capacity, skills and knowledge in order to advocate in favor of freedom of expression. Local PEN Centres will participate in policy training to help with advocacy work on local, regional and international levels and a three-year advocacy strategy will map out plans to engage with regional-level forums such as the Africa Commission on Human Rights.
This work will serve to leverage the voice and influence of PEN Africa Network members in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. PEN members will gain greater understanding of areas including freedom of expression and digital freedom, cultural and linguistic rights and quality education. It will help to empower not just them but the people with whom they work and future generations of writers, journalists and advocates.
The Foundation is the Commonwealth's agency for civil society. We support people’s participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms for civic voices and opportunities for sharing expertise.