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Since October 2013 till January 2016, PDCS o. z. in cooperation with The Carpathian Foundation realized a new project “Active citizens everywhere” which aimed at networking and supporting civil activities in Slovakia, especially in its regions. This project was realized with the support of the program “Active citizenship and inclusion” by Ekopolis Foundation in partnership with Children of Slovakia Foundation and Socia – Social Reform Foundation. The program is an implementation part of financial mechanism by the EEA Grants sponsored by Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.
The core project activities were as follows:
1) Survey on education and networking needs of Slovak non-governmental organizations and civil initiatives
This survey formed the introductory stage of the project, which aimed at mapping the current educational and networking needs of Slovak Non-Governmental Organizations And Civil Initiatives from various regions of Slovakia as well as in various stages of development. The results of the survey were not to be considered representative, rather as an inspirational input for planning other activities within this project as well as within educational efforts of other organizations. Short summary from the survey.
2) Educational series for consultants of Slovak non-governmental organizations and civil initiatives
Another activity through which we wanted to support the continuous and sustainable development of NGOs was providing 15 applicants from (predominantly regional) NGOs with a professional educational series consisting of trainings and coaching with the aim of empowering them to become future consultants for NGOs.
3) Competence building for NGO workers
Within this project, we planned to organize several open trainings in the regions of Slovakia which stem from the initial survey and reacted to the current educational needs of NGO workers. Another capacity building support which we offered to NGOs in whole Slovakia relied with the consulting support offered by the consultants whose task was to help organizations and civil initiatives with their development already during their training.
4) Networking activities for non-governmental organizations and civil initiatives
The aim of this activity was to enable intense networking of organizations and initiatives of Slovak civil society, mainly through organizing smaller thematic meetings (e.g. Lunchseminars and round tables) or via larger conferences. The topics of the meetings were specified according to the initial survey and current needs of the society.
- Conference "Civic actors in conflicts", 7.-8. November 2014, videos and interviews from the conference
- Conference "Civic actors in conflicts, How to lead a dialoge on sensitive topics: values, refugees, extremism…", 24.-25. September 2015, short video, interviews and discussion from the conference
5) Networking and peer-coaching meetings for leaders of civil society
The development of NGO sector in Slovakia is also connected with the support for leaders of key NGOs and civil initiatives. In this activity, we planned to support them through regular peer-coaching meetings, where they could reflect upon and share their specific problems relied to leadership and managing civil society organizations.