Southeastern Europe Regional
Association "Education Builds B&H"
Fostering Dialogue and Understanding between Youth of Different Backgrounds
To promote tolerance and understanding between youth of different ethnic backgrounds by encouraging them to engage in a public discussion on some of the most sensitive issues facing the Western Balkans today. The Association will partner with the Czech Republic-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to produce a weekly television series challenging a diverse group of youth to offer their own interpretations of a democracy-related term or concept, which will be contrasted with those of their peers in other cities or countries. The series will be aired by leading regional television stations, and promoted through social networks.
Central European University Budapest Foundation (CEU)
Promoting the Engagement of Young Romani Leaders in Public Service
To build the leadership skills of young Romani activists and scholars and promote their engagement in public service. The Hungary-based CEU will create four fellowships for recent Romani graduates with NGOs in Macedonia and Serbia focusing on public policy and human rights. A member of the CEU faculty will provide training before and serve as a mentor during the course of the four-month fellowships. By fostering these new partnerships, CEU will provide emerging Romani leaders with valuable professional experience and encourage greater inclusion and diversity in the Macedonian and Serbian civic sectors.
Civil Rights Defenders (CRD)
Raising Awareness about Minority Rights
To continue raising public awareness about the rights of minority and vulnerable groups, as well as to encourage greater attention to these issues by decision-makers in Southeastern Europe. CRD's offices in the Western Balkans will organize two sets of awareness raising and advocacy activities focusing on fundamental rights of key minority and vulnerable groups, including Roma. The events will include a conference featuring 10 panel discussions, a regional photo competition covering six Balkan countries, followed by exhibitions of the best photographs in each.
Promoting Accountability through Fact-Checking
To promote the use of fact-checking websites as an effective accountability tool in Southeastern Europe. Together with the U.S.-based Poynter Institute, the London-based Full Fact will convene a two-day conference which will bring together reporters and activists from fact-checking initiatives worldwide to share best practices. The London event aims to assist both newer and more established fact-checking websites to more effectively hold elected officials accountable for their promises and to encourage journalism that fosters an informed and engaged electorate. Endowment support will be used to fund the participation of approximately ten NED grantees in the conference, as well as to provide them with ongoing mentoring and assistance.
Improving Crossborder Dialogue, Tolerance, and Cooperation
To continue supporting innovative civil society and media initiatives which promote interethnic dialogue and cooperation, as well as tolerance, diversity, and respect for human rights, among divided communities in the Western Balkans. The Fund will award at least 10 small grants, ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 each, to support projects addressing common problems facing post-conflict societies in the region, promoting crossborder dialogue, and enhancing cooperation between Bosnian, Kosovar, and Serbian civil society groups, particularly those addressing prejudice, discrimination, human rights abuses, and painful war legacies.
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
Strengthening Political Institutions
Strengthening Western Balkan Legislatures
To assist Western Balkans parliaments in strengthening their legislative capacity through improved research and legal services and increased public engagement. NDI will organize exchanges between parliamentary staff in Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia and their peers in Central Europe, and provide training opportunities to share regional good practices. This is one phase of a multiyear program to promote effective and transparent lawmaking and oversight by parliaments in the Western Balkans.
Freedom of Information
Improving Media Coverage of Issues Faced by Roma Communities
To improve media coverage of the problems, rights, and needs of Roma populations. The Budapest-based Foundation will build the skills of 24 Romani women activists and journalists in Hungary and Macedonia, enabling them to produce high quality, unbiased media content about important issues facing Romani communities in the two countries. The Foundation will organize two training and two production sessions, produce and distribute six video reports, and facilitate networking among participants.
Freedom of Association
Strengthening Telecommunications Trade Unions through Regional Cooperation
To build the capacity of telecommunications unions in Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, and facilitate better networking of these unions through the Central and Eastern European Telecommunications Alliance. The Solidarity Center will conduct a series of sub-regional education programs, as well as provide customized support to the Telecommunications Union of Albania with a focus on strengthening worker participation in union organizing and bargaining, while addressing weaknesses in the labor rights environment using global rights instruments.
Promoting Accountability through New Media
To promote the use of new media in fostering activism, transparency and accountability in Southeastern Europe. For the third year, the POINT - Political Accountability and New Technologies - conference will connect leading watchdog organizations and highlight innovative accountability initiatives using new technologies in the Balkans and around the world. The Sarajevo-based event will feature 70 speakers and is expected to draw an audience of over 300 activists, journalists, and decision-makers. The event will be followed by a smaller gathering of leading watchdog organizations in the region to generate ideas for future joint projects.
Women in Black
Fostering Public Dialogue about War Crimes Committed against Women
To foster public dialogue about war crimes and human rights violations committed against women during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, as well as to promote alternative mechanisms for attaining justice for the victims. In cooperation with women's NGOs and victims' associations throughout the region, the Serbia-based Women in Black will organize four meetings to examine various forms of war-related violence against women, and provide victims with an opportunity to tell their individual stories of suffering. The testimonies will contribute to the growing body of facts about war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.
Youth Communication Center (OKC)
Promoting Civic Participation among Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia
To assist young people in playing a more effective role in advocating for youth related issues. In Bosnia and Hercegovina, the OKC will continue to provide capacity building training to student councils in close to 300 high schools throughout the country, strengthen three student council networks - two at the entity and one at the national level - and facilitate their mutual collaboration and cooperation with government authorities. To encourage regional cooperation between student council networks in Bosnia and Herzegovina and student parliaments in south Serbia, the OKC will partner with the Education Center Leskovac to share best practices through two trainings, a series of advocacy campaigns, and a conference.
Grant descriptions are from the 2014 NED Annual Report.