Thirteen people from South Caucasus NGOs came to the Czech Republic today. They came upon invitation of NESEHNUTÍ – The Independent Social Environmental Movement – who provides support to their public campaigns in South Caucasus. The purpose of their stay in Central Europe (besides Czech Republic, they are also going to visit Slovakia and Poland) is to establish contacts with local NGOs, media and experts in the fields in which the NGOs are active in their home countries of South Caucasus.
The study tour will take place between 12-24th of June. The participants will have an opportunity to learn about work of various NGOs, media, state or municipal institutions. The purpose of the study tour is to inspire active people from South Caucasus and extend to them the experience of Czech, Slovak and Polish organizations and to establish partnership for future cooperation. People who came from the Caucasus are themselves active in various organizations focusing on human rights defense, traffic safety, assistance to handicapped people or protection of the environment.
“This study tour brings together people who would not be able to meet in the Caucasus just like that due to armed conflicts which took place there. We have representatives of the independent media from Abkhazia and Georgia, an activist from Azerbaijan and an Armenian defender of rights of handicapped people, a social worker from Karabakh or people who are trying to address the issue of gender inequality on all sides separated by the Abkhazia-Georgia or Georgia-Ossetia conflict”, Milan Štefanec of NESEHNUTÍ describes the diversity of the composition of the delegation.
Study tour participants will have a chance to see the work of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, find out how Czech Television works with new media, what kind of assistance Bílý kruh bezpečí provides to crime victims, how Oživení fights against corruption and how other organizations work in Prague. In Brno, the study tour participants will visit the Public Defender of Rights office, visit Hnutí DUHA / Friends of the Earth Czech Republic, the largest Czech environmental NGO and Sedmá generace magazine. At the end of the week, the study tour will move to Slovakia where the participants will learn about the work of Inštitút pre ludská práva (Human Rights Institute) and visit the office of the International Visegrad Fund. The final destination of the study tour is Warsaw, Poland, where the participants will meet Citizens Network Watchdog Poland.
NESEHNUTÍ provides study tour participants, who often come from post-conflict regions, a unique opportunity to learn how the civil sector functions in Visegrad countries. The study tour participants were recruited from initiatives who previously received support from NESEHNUTÍ under The Initiative Way program (www.cestainiciativy.cz) in the form of a microgrant, educational workshop or expert background for their work.
“For example, journalist Anaid Gogoryan from Sukhumi, Abkhazia, used NESEHNUTÍ support to endorse the law on free access to information, and she took inspiration in both good and bad experience with the existence of a similar law in the Czech Republic. Mane Madoyan from Armenia focuses on monitoring municipal budget, efficient use of municipal funds and removal of barriers in the architecture of Armenian capital Yerevan”, added Jaromír Němec, coordinator of The Initiative Way, a support program of NESEHNUTÍ in the Caucasus.
Financial support for activities of NESEHNUTÍ in the Caucasus were provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the International Visegrad Fund in an open grant procedure. NESEHNUTÍ also receives individual support from people in the Czech Republic and abroad who regularly donate funds to the transparent bank account of the organization.
Milan Štefanec, NESEHNUTÍ, +420 731 181 224, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaromír Němec, NESEHNUTÍ, +420 775 264 711, email@example.com