The Active Citizens Fund – Slovakia program supported the first 49 projects
The Ekopolis Foundation, together with the Open Society Foundation and the Carpathian Foundation, supported 49 NGO projects totaling € 2,647,611. Thanks to the Active Citizens Fund Slovakia program, which is part of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-21, from this summer on, projects aimed to engage citizens in public affairs, create better conditions for good governance, protect human rights and improve the position of vulnerable groups will begin. The program divides support across 5 thematic areas – Citizenship Participation, Defense of Public Interest, Human Rights, Vulnerable Groups and Development of Civil Society Organizations.
7 projects in the total amount of € 420,000 are supported in the topic of „Increased citizen participation in civic activities“. An example of a supported activity with a local and regional impact in this topic is a contribution of € 79,922 for the Otvor Dvor Association from Rožňava, to create a regional co-working center in the Cultural and Creative Center Kláštor. Another type is the “You Are Slovakia.Digital” project, which, thanks to its support of € 64,996, will create a voluntary community aimed at improving e-Government status, whether in terms of policy making, IT project evaluation or community IT application development.
In the “Strenghtened civil society advocacy and watchdog role” theme 10 projects totaling € 750,000 are supported. Project by Lipana n.o. “Children Don’t Wait!” aims to help change the quality of education in Slovakia in accordance with the principle of “making quality school together.” By joining the forces of actors in education with a constructive dialogue and a positive media campaign, the project wants to achieve a first step towards a truly good education reform in Slovakia. The project is supported by € 95 081. The Central European Labor Research Institute (CELSI) has received EUR 71 910 for a project aimed at employing people with disabilities and achieving better cooperation between government, NGOs, trade unions and employers in this field.
„Increased support for human rights and civic education“ theme has the priority of improving civil and human rights education in Slovakia. The program supported 4 projects totaling € 242,135. ADRA Association from Bratislava through a project with the support of € 74,186 – Adventist Agency for Assistance and Development, Bratislava. It will provide training for teachers and youth workers in the field of human rights using the Council of Europe methodologies Compass and Kompasito. The project will ensure the dissemination of human rights education through live libraries and theater performances. With the support of € 64,980, Potôň Association from Bátovce will implement a set of 20 full-day experiential events focused on human rights education, reducing xenophobic moods, radicalization and youth intolerance towards discriminated groups.
In the “Vulnerable groups empowered” theme, 12 small projects totaling € 168,875 were supported for support. An example is a grant for the Detstvo deťom association, €14,879, aimed at young Roma families and their children in Dobšiná. The project will support the activities of the parent center, direct work with children from birth and with mothers in their home environment. 7 projects will be supported by higher grants within this theme totaling € 418,063. Cesta von association through Omama project with € 64,953 support provides comprehensive early care to children from excluded Roma communities aged 0-6, helping to reduce the developmental slippage caused by the toxic stress children face. Activities will take place in Revúca, Bardejov, and Košice – surroundings.
The program also supports the development of civil society organizations. The first call in the “Enhanced capacity and sustainability of civil society” theme supported 9 organizations that will be able to invest in their own sustainability or seek to improve the environment for the development of civic organizations in Slovakia. A4 – The Association of Contemporary Culture Associations from Bratislava has received € 62,569 to strengthen its own capacities and improve the cooperation of civic cultural organizations. At the same time, the association will enter into commenting on local and national policies to promote culture. Centrum pre filantropiu, independent organization, will be working with the Norwegian Norsensus media forum from Oslo to develop new, modern online tools for organizations that will make it easier for them to access funding from individual donors. This partnership project was supported by € 103 256.