Grassroots Organisations at the Forefront of Community Solidarity Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

EU TACSO 3 project, in cooperation with Trag Foundation from Serbia, are organising an on-line P2P event under the title “One Year On: Grassroots Organisations at the Forefront of Community Solidarity Response to COVID-19 Pandemic”. The exchange is being organized as a follow-up to the EU TACSO 3 Regional Meet-up on Emergency Response from June 2020. The aim is to complement the discussion on the consequences on civil society and society in general and how to deal with post-crisis patterns in the future. The two-day on-line P2P event will provide space for peer-to-peer learning and joint exploration of local community solutions and common challenges during COVID-19 and other complex crises in reflecting the practical developments and responses by CSOs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specific objectives of the event are to:

  • Summarise and present activities undertaken by EU TACSO 3 and other civil society actors in response to COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Discuss the lessons learned during the first spike of the COVID-19 pandemic to better coordinate and inform the community response and grassroots actions in future situations of crisis;
  • Contribute to building community resilience;
  • Open space for discussing challenges and future CSOs strategies for solidarity response in complex crises.

During the event, Trag foundation evaluation on their small grant support programme to 61 organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia during the COVID-19 pandemic that provides insights on how to support local communities in the post-COVID-19 pandemic circumstances.  Supported CSOs from local communities from the three countries as well as CSOs from Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Turkey with similar experience will spotlight their experience on positive examples of grass-root response to COVID-19.

The three main topics of discussion will include:

  • CSOs as essential social service providers during COVID-19: When the global pandemic hit and lockdown measures were introduced, CSOs were crucial in providing support to vulnerable groups when the institutions were either closed or slow to adapt to the ongoing needs of beneficiaries in the system of social care (persons with disabilities, victims of domestic violence, Roma, elderly etc.).
  • Activating community solidarity: grassroots organisations mobilising community resources for immediate relief during the COVID-19 crisis: Many community organisations were very successful in mobilising resources and volunteers to help relief of the direct damaging effects of the COVID-19 crisis. They were quicker to gather and distribute support to those most in need and provide different healthcare resources.
  • Is the future of activism on-line? Discussion of on-line community organising challenges and opportunities: Adopting the new normal has left grassroots organisations with mixed feelings. Some feel that authentic activism and community organising could not be done on-line, while in some cases, on-line events have brought new audiences and more accessibility to high-level speakers/ guests.

The event will take place on-line on Wednesday, 9 and Thursday, 10 June 2021

The event is mainly targeted to the CSOs representative and community-based organisations from the Western Balkan and Turkey.

If you are interested in attending the P2P event, please register until Monday, 7 June till 15:00 hrs CET following this link>>>.

Building Awareness for CSO’s Work

EU TACSO 3, for the needs and in cooperation with the DG NEAR, would like to hear from civil society and make visible their efforts to the wider public through publishing success stories of their work being done in influencing (national/local) sectorial policy dialogue(s). The concept is to collect success stories that can be quoted as successful examples of cooperation between either EU, regional, national or local institutions with civil society.

The objective of publishing the success stories is to give the possibility to civil society to share stories of their work in supporting their community to the wider public. CSOs are one of the most vibrant fabrics of our societies and their continued support is essential for countries to develop and respond to the unprecedented challenges of our time.

Broad areas that can be taken into account for submitting inputs include:

  • Awareness raising for the need for policy dialogue;
  • Building awareness of CSO work;
  • Capacity building of CSO’s to engage in policy dialogue;
  • Capacity building of state actors and civil servants to engage in policy dialogue;
  • Development of civil dialogue mechanisms.

The deadline for submitting success stories is 15 January 2021.

DPNSEE invites member organisations and other civil society partners from the region to share their success stories.

To read more, follow this link>>>.

Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organisations in the Western Balkans and Turkey (TACSO) is a regional project funded by the European Union (EU) that improves capacities and strengthens the role of civil society organizations (CSOs). The project assists CSOs to actively take part in democratic processes in the region, and it also stimulates an enabling environment for civil society and pluralistic media development.