News from our regional offices
In the New Democracy Fund, we are working on creating partnerships for democratic development. Our regional offices are our direct connection to our partners in the region. The directors of our regional offices; Mads Østergaard and Martynas Snieganas here provide a short status from the regional offices, and what is coming.
Greetings and a warm welcome to all subscribers and friends of the New Democracy Fund from the Southern Office in Tbilisi. With the autumn season fast approaching I am happy to highlight a few past and future activities of the office.
It is a pleasure for me to follow and see the impact of the seven projects that are currently being supported in Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia under the New Cooperation Fund mechanism, which promote partnerships and peer-to-peer exchange. The engagement, enthusiasm, and relations that I have seen among participants in the events are truly encouraging. I recommend all who have an interest in establishing or developing international partnerships and joint activities with Armenian, Azerbaijani, Danish, or Georgian organisations to reach out the New Democracy Fund Southern Office and follow New Democracy Fund for news on upcoming opportunities.
In July I was honoured to support the exhibition “The Fallen Sky” and attend its opening reception at the Orbeliani Palace, The Georgian Presidential Residence in Tbilisi. “The Fallen Sky” is an exhibition made by female Ukrainian artists, to preserve and promote Ukrainian culture, national identity, and to support female voices in art.
I am currently planning my travel to Baku in September to participate in a regional seminar on youth rights with youth councils from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Denmark, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The seminar will give an opportunity to discuss youth rights and the role of youth councils, in addition, to learn and inspire each other.
Later, in November, a two-day seminar on gender equality for partners of the New Democracy Fund will take place in Tbilisi. New Democracy Fund. Gender equality is a fundamental human right and an important prerequisite for a strong inclusive civil society. The seminar will highlight relevant and successful approaches and tools within our priority topics of youth, media, culture, and labour market.
It is a challenging time for democracy and freedom in Europe. New Democracy Fund stand by grassroots organisations and remain committed to civic engagement, participation and democratic values.
Mads Østergaard is the Director of our Southern Regional Office in Tbilisi, Georgia. From here, he is responsible for the fund’s activities in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
As the New Democracy Fund is preparing for a new phase from 2023, there are many learnt lessons from the first two years of the fund’s activities, which will help to adapt and implement the fund’s support to civil society in the light of the current geopolitical situation.
Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova have had well-established and resilient civil society over many years. Even though some had to leave, many remain and continue their invaluable work from within the countries.
In addition to the already existing human rights activities, such as supervising human rights conditions, monitoring politically motivated injustice and assisting vulnerable people, LGBTI persons and national minorities, new projects have emerged since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
Just recently in September, NDF hosted a discussion about the civil society’s fight against the digital regimes at the largest democracy festival “Būtent!” in Lithuania, inviting experts and representatives of civil society in the fields of technology and human rights from Belarus.
The NDF aims to promote cooperation between civic organizations in the region and Danish organizations and cooperation with each other within the region. In October, we will aim to invite partners to a workshop about cybersecurity and the specific security tools they can deploy in threatening environments in partnership with Google Jigsaw.
Martynas Snieganas is the Director of our Northern Regional Office in Vilnius, Lithuania. From here, he is responsible for the fund’s activities in Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.
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