On 16 August 2012, the Office for European Expertise and Communications in cooperation with Youth Education Center "Fialta” organised a meeting for representatives of CSOs from Belarus, EU member states and Eastern Partnership countries. The goal of the meeting was to build a sound partnership and develop cooperation in social, educational, and cultural spheres.
The programme of the event included presentation of the activities of the participants and discussion of possible future cooperation and implementation of joint projects. Four international organisations were invited as guests to the event: Hyvärilä Youth Centre (Finland), Association “People” (Ukraine), Platform Spartak (The Netherlands), and Academy for Peace and Development (Georgia). These organisations are mostly dealing with voluntary services and are engaged in implementation of projects, supporting talented youth, development of its creativity. They are also supporting youth with disabilities and in need. On a yearly basis the above mentioned organisations arrange volunteer exchanges, seminars, training sessions and informal meetings, allowing the participants to gain valuable knowledge, learn about the culture of other countries, contribute to the solution of various burning issues, in particular, those of the younger generation.
The guests of the meeting attempted to fully illustrate to Belarusian participants the peculiarities of their work and to interest them by their projects and opportunities. Realizing their little engagement in such projects and the lack of international contacts, representatives of Belarusian CSOs expressed their interest to cooperate with international partners.
After the formal part of the meeting, the participants had a chance to continue talking to each other, share experiences and exchange contacts in a relaxed informal atmosphere. Judging by the intensity of their communication, the participants had many topics for discussion, and the partnership was successfully launched.
Currently there is an open call for the organisations willing to participate in European educational programmes that provide training opportunities and search for international partners for representatives of Belarusian civil society. More information can be found at http://www.youth-in-action.org (in Russian) and http://www.salto-youth.net/ (in English).