We finished the series of online matchmaking cafes

The 3 online events were organized in September 2020 in order to discover thematic realities from Romania and donor states and they brought together 15 organizations from Norway and Iceland and 35 organizations from Romania. The organizations were informed and discussed on specific topics important for the Active Citizens Fund Romania program. In short, we present below some general ideas brought up from the conversations:

On September 15, 2020, the online event on “Human Rights and Social Justice” took place, where we tried to review some important aspects regarding the human rights situation in Norway, Iceland and Romania. Aspects from the conversation that deserve to be highlighted refer to: the differences in approach between the Nordic states and Romania in terms of social services - rights insurance (Iceland, Norway) versus service provision (Romania); how to involve the state (greater involvement in the Nordic states) and how to involve the beneficiaries (more emphasis is placed on the self-representation aspect in the Nordic states); the different themes and agendas between the Nordic states and Romania but also the similarities from the perspective of the under-represented groups, which are problematic both for the Nordic states and for Romania; the intersectional approach from the north, which involves not only the provision of services or activism/ representation of a certain right.

On September 22, 2020, the second event on "Youth and the inclusion of young people" took place. With a large and quite diverse group, we tried to highlight different aspects that may be similar or different between Romania and Norway. Thus, we discovered similarities such as the increased number of sports organizations that can be involved in social inclusion activities, entrepreneurial methodologies used for inclusion, poorer access to services / activities for certain categories of young vulnerable people, the same distinction between youth organizations and organizations working for youth, even if the legal age limits differ between the two states. At the level of differences we can mention the aspect of networking and representation structures for organizations in the Nordic states, which in Romania is not so present inside civil society.

On September 29, 2020, the third and last online event on "Environment and Climate Change" took place. After a short presentation of one of the largest environmental organizations in Norway, the Bellona Foundation, we had some discussions about the directions of action of the organizations present at the event, which were largely aimed at environmental protection and climate change awareness, effects of agriculture, health education / healthy eating and environmental litigations. These discussions also revealed some issues that could be taken up in future partnerships with the Nordic states such as the difficulty of involving people in major issues, the involvement or non-involvement of public authorities in various initiatives of the nongovernmental sector, the need to have an intersectional approach for the environmental issues.

Based on the successful results obtained in the past, when the previous NGO Fund significantly facilitated mutual learning and understanding among Romanian and donor state organizations, the new Active Citizens Fund Romania programme relies on lessons learned and focuses on enhancing sustainable partnerships in areas where the expertise of organisations is most effectively capitalized for the benefit of the civil society.

In this regard, we are pleased to invite you to our online matchmaking cafés, organized in September 2020, under the Fund for Bilateral Relations. The purpose of the online matchmaking cafés is to discover thematic realities from Romania and donor states, especially Norway and Iceland, as a baseline for potential bilateral partnership proposals for the Active Citizens Fund Romania.

Within the cafés, we look forward to sharing information on the Active Citizens Fund Romania and to provide space for thematic conversations that could turn into donor partnership projects to be submitted within the forthcoming Calls for Proposals of the Fund.

The thematic focus envisaged for discussions within the cafés will be in line with the specific areas of support covered by the Active Citizens Fund Romania, and thus we will organize 3 such online events with different topics:

  • 15th of September 2020Human rights and social justice
  • 22nd of September 2020 - Youth and youth inclusion
  • 29th of September 2020 - Environment and climate change

The meetings will take place online, on Zoom. The final agenda shall be sent out to the selected participants, but the program will consist mainly in 1 hour and 30 minutes of facilitated conversations about the topic of the café.

The working language of the event will be ENGLISH and no translation services will be provided.

We are looking for participants coming on behalf of organizations from donor states – Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway and participants coming from Romanian NGOs. Interested individuals are kindly asked to fill in the online registration form on behalf of their represented organizations by 10th of September 2020.

The registration form can be found here.