On January 15, 2015, as part of the EU Delegation to Belarus information meeting dedicated to a
Civil Society and Local Government Support (CSO-LA) call for proposals, Clearing House programme consultants held a special training in Gomel for representatives of civil society organizations and local authorities on preparation of project concepts to be implemented in Homel region with EU financial support.
About 30 representatives of non-governmental organizations and state institutions working in the fields of culture, law, education, healthcare etc., took part in the training. Participants were given information on how to prepare and present a project application and had a chance to work in small groups to work out basic concepts of competitive proposals using case studies.
|Maira Mora, Head of EU Delegation to Belarus|
As Maira Mora, Head of EU Delegation to Belarus noted during Minsk meeting dedicated to the CSO-LA call for proposals, today Gomel region is one of the most active Belarusian regions that can boast some impressive results from implemented small-scale European projects. As the Head of EU Delegation said, small-budget projects here are “closer to the general public”.
Gomel region organizations have a significant advantage, believes Taru Kernisalo, EU Delegation to Belarus project coordinator. She says that local civil society organizations and authorities have a vast experience of international cooperation and project implementation, as for decades international technical support programmes for post-Chernobyl catastrophe recovery have been running in this region.
|Taru Kernisalo, Project Coordinator, EU Delegation to Belarus (Minsk)|
An example of successful cooperation between local authorities and non-governmental organizations, says Taru Kernisalo, is the “World of Information, Culture and Creative Activities for All" project being implemented by Rogachev Region Executive Committee in partnership with the International charitable public association “Helping Children of Chernobyl”.
According to the project coordinator Irina Sedler, framework of this project allowed Rogachev region authorities to purchase a special bus to provide cultural services to residents of sparsely populated villages. The t-otal cost of the 3-year project is 250 thousand euros. The project has been running for 1,5 years.
|Irina Sedler (on the left), representative of Rogachev Region Executive Committee|
Irina Sedler explains that thanks to this project a lot of villagers now have an opportunity to go to the theatre, visit the Zhlobin aquatic center, travel to monasteries and pilgrimage sites, organize their own village museums, etc. The project has also provided an opportunity for local authorities to exchange feedback with residents of remote areas: the authorities decided to organize a public opinion survey on post-Chernobyl territory issues and after doing so concluded that among the most common problems was the issue prompt delivery of medical services.
|Robert de Vogelaere, EU Delegation to Belarus Finance and Contracts Assistant|
At the same time, says Robert de Vogelaere, EU Delegation to Belarus Finance and Contracts Assistant, there are no regional priorities or topical restrictions placed on proposals.
"We will evaluate all the projects on their quality and their prospects and we in no way insist that one area of activity is better than another. At the same time, we are interested in representing the widest range of interests possible through these proposals. This means that we are open for all the proposals with the best of them getting resources in the end”.
According to Robert de Vogelaere, EU and Belarus cooperation currently goes on with financial support being provided in two directions: first has to do with the cooperation of the European Union and the Belarusian government, while second with the cooperation of the EU and civil society of Belarus. Civil Society and Local Government Support (CSO-LA) Call for Proposals is within the framework of the second direction of cooperation. The Call for Proposals of the EU Delegation to Belarus will be open until February 11.
You can get a free consultation on preparing a project application within the "Clearing House" project. Book a consultation here.