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Increasing participation of citizens in Belarus, 2011

 

(This article expired 31.01.2014.)

International Association Civic Belarus (www.civicbelarus.eu)

The Civic Belarus Association was founded in 2005. Its activities are aimed at support of the development of civil society and democratic initiatives in Belarus. In 2011, in the framework of a project supported by MFA CR, Civic Belarus has implemented a number of activities aimed at increasing participation of citizens in Belarus.

Young people were one of priority groups Civic Belarus worked with. We supported a number of small projects that involved high school students. In the framework of these projects young Belarusians took part in activities which covered a relatively wide range of topics from ecology and journalism to history. Small projects aimed at getting students more interested in public issues and teaching young Belarusians to search for and use information.

Civic Belarus also contributed to operation of Human Rights House. Apart from being an association of most prominent Belarusian human rights organizations, the House is also a safe place in Vilnius, where Belarusian and foreign human rights defenders meet, where various seminars and trainings take place all year round. The House also provides a temporary asylum for activists persecuted by the regime. In 2011 the House provided asylum for 18 political refugees.

In 2011 the House became a partner of European Commission in a project “Civil Society for Belarus”. The project which will last from March 2011 to September 2012 with the total budget of 750 000 EUR aims at extensive support of civil initiatives. It was created as a reaction to repressions against civil society representatives, mass media and protesters after falsified election in December 2010.

Another area in which Civic Belarus is involved is support of local grassroots. We have provided support for groups that want to be active, but do not yet have the necessary knowledge and skills. In 2011 Civic Belarus contacted 35 such groups. 10 groups received consultations, took part in trainings and discussions with experienced Belarusian activists. We also assisted the groups in implementing small projects in their communities. Grassroots will be guided in their development in the future.

In addition to these projects Civic Belarus was active in advocacy and co-organized happenings and press conferences, which drew attention of Czech public to human rights violations in Belarus. We have also morally and financially supported people who were persecuted by the regime (fundraising campaign “Let’s add courage to Belarusians”, http://www.odvahubelorusum.cz).

Financial support from MFA: 1 394 435,73 CZK

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