“COVID-19: Civil Society Resilience and Sustainability” is a joint regional project run by IREX Europe which aims at strengthening civil society and independent media in Eastern Partnership countries to mitigate the immediate and longer-term impact of the pandemic. The project is funded by the European Union and is implemented in partnership with Human Rights House Foundation, Human Rights House Tbilisi, Human Rights House Yerevan and Transatlantic Foundation/Black Sea Trust.
The civil society organisations (CSOs), grassroots initiatives and independent media outlets in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will benefit from €2.4 million of grants for: emergency core support; psychosocial and legal support; and to enhance their digital and technological capacities in order to overcome the immediate impact of COVID 19 crisis. The Project will also provide capacity development training and support media campaigns, advocacy and awareness raising efforts to build the resilience of the civil society and the general public to medium and long-term effects of the pandemic.
The Project will centre around three main objectives:
- CSOs build their sustainability and resilience to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis through:
- 26 emergency grants
- 200 CSO representatives receive psychosocial and legal support
- CSOs are better skilled and equipped to continue supporting their beneficiaries and protecting vulnerable communities, through:
- 26 digitalisation grants to improve the online work of CSOs
- 21 capacity development grants
- 6 exchange and cooperation grants
- 5 analytical and policy-oriented project grants
- CSOs and media counter disinformation and fake news, and promote access to reliable information on the pandemic and its impact on communities, through:
- 32 grants for independent media and CSOs working to debunk false information, and provide counter narratives
- 25 media campaign, advocacy and awareness raising grants
- 6 government monitoring grants
The project will run for four years from July 2020 until June 2024.
‘Speak Up! – Media for Inclusion’ is a response to the current migrants situation, focusing on developing, disseminating and scaling up of good practices in media and information literacy trainings, making media workshops and film festivals for young migrants and refugees in France, The Netherlands, Greece, Italy and Hungary.
The project will train young, newly-arrived migrants and refugees in media and information literacy, radio production and filmmaking in order to feel at home quickly and to prepare for a future in the host country. In this regard, the project scales up good practices on inclusive education through video production (The Netherlands) and radio production (France) in Greece and Italy on media and information literacy training and in Hungary on working with newly-arrived migrants.
A cross-European project, Speak Up! culminates in the Ithaka International Film and Media Festival with events held in all five countries as well as an Instagram photography competition. The project will end with international experts’ meetings in Budapest and Utrecht during which information pack for journalists writing on migration will be drafted.
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union
Young people make up 30% of Tunisia’s population, however they are largely excluded economically, socially, politically and culturally. Media programmes rarely give voice to youth and rarely address youth needs. That is why the overall goal of the JAMIL.Net project aims to help young Tunisians better engage in society by giving them the skills and tools to become active participants in their local communities and by extension in Tunisian society in general.
JAMIL.Net works in particular to engage with young women and men in the interior and poorer governorates through a program of media and information literacy, with a strong emphasis on digital literacy which includes the use of social media (MIL). Our project targets 5 governorates: Kasserine; Beja; Gafsa; Kebili; and Gabes.
IREX Europe is working with six youth centers were selected in the 5 governorates and in Tunis: in Kasserine, Complexe des jeunes de Kasserine ; in Beja, Maison des Jeunes de Testour ; in Gafsa, Maison des jeunes itinérante de voyage et de tourisme des jeunes de Gafsa ; in Gabes, Complexe culturel de Gabes ; in Kébili, Complexe des jeunes de Kebili ; and in Tunis, Maison des jeunes Ibnou Khaldoun. IREX Europe is also working with to 5 community radios based in the 5 targeted interior governorates: Cillium FM in Kasserine . Radio Chamel in Beja ; Elyssa FM in Gabes ; and Neszawa FM in Kébili.
The project is implemented in partnership with the French Development Agency, Fondation de France and the US Department of State.
Objective 1: To build the supporting infrastructure for and the media literacy skills of young Tunisian women and men in the target governorates through a value-based MIL program that focuses on promotion of and understanding of fundamental human rights.
Objective 2: To strengthen youth engagement with media, the production of media content with a focus on human rights and addressing youth needs, and the engagement of youth in the production of media content in the target governorates.
Objective 3: To strengthen the financial viability of community radios in the target governorates and their ability to serve as a vehicle of youth engagement at the local level.
Our project works to achieve these objectives through the following activities:
- Creation and launch of MIL centres in Tunisia’s interior governorates and of a MIL coordination mechanism in Tunis
- MIL workshops and small grants for local youth
- Capacity building trainings for community radios
- “Generation What?” production workshops for Community Radios
- Hackathon for innovative media projects developed by youth
- Marketing and management training for Community Radios
- Centralised online marketing platform for Community Radios
The expected results of the project are:
Outcome 1: A Media and Information Literacy Education coordination mechanism is established in the target governorates, and the trainers use the e-learning platform “MIL” in the 5 governorates and support media projects developed by young Tunisians.
Outcome 2: Young Tunisians have strengthened their engagement with media and have produced media content broadcasted in community radios.
Outcome 3: Financial sustainability of at least 5 community radios is strengthened creation of a centralized financing mechanism.
This project is funded by the French Development Agency, the European Union, the US Embassy in Tunisia, IREX, la Fondation des droits de l’Homme et the Fondation de France
IREX Europe is delighted to announce that the “Promoting Rights, Inclusiveness, Dignity and Equality for LGBT” project in Albania and Kosovo has been awarded a further three years of funding and will continue as ‘PRIDE II’! Building on the achievements of PRIDE I, PRIDE II+ aims to further strengthen the role of grassroots civil society organisations’ (CSOs) in promoting the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT minority in rural and urban Albania, with a particular focus on protecting at-risk marginalised youth LGBTs, and promoting respect for the fundamental rights of the LGBT community.
The project includes a focus on rural areas as the situation is extremely complicated for LGBT youth (18-25 years old) outside of Tirana. LGBT youth are frequently the victim of bullying and often excluded and/or rejected by their family and friends for bringing ‘shame’ and dishonour to the community. As a result they often become depressed and either hide their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI), or if they do come out, are forced run away from home with a high risk of becoming homeless. Suicide rates, drug addiction and sexual exploitation is high amongst youth LGBT. The situation is equally worrying for the transgender community where many of the openly visible trans-persons turn to sex work as they are rejected from all parts of society and unable to secure regular employment and decent housing.
PRIDE II+ will work to strengthening the capacities of local organisations and activists mainly from remote regions (Shkodra, Vlora, Pogradec and Kukes), helping them foster a stronger and more vibrant civil society committed to promoting LGBT rights, as well as human rights in general, at the local level.
PRIDE II+ Objectives:
Objective 1: To strengthen the capacity of grassroots CSOs supporting the LGBT community and to advocate and implement actions improving the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT community in Albania’s regions and Tirana.
Objective 2: To increase access to protection and counselling support, as well as access to employment opportunities for the LGBT community, with a special focus on ensuring access to basic services for at-risk young LGBT individuals from the regions and Tirana;
Objective 3: To promote a more positive image of the LGBT community and improve their acceptance by the general population in the regions and Tirana.
Our project works to achieve these objectives through the following activities:
- In-situ trainings to build the organisational capacities for grassroots CSOs
- Training for the development of advocacy skills for grassroots CSOs and set up of a national LGBT advocacy strategy
- Service provision support for 350 LGBT individuals through Aleanca community centre
- Support for 20 at-risk homeless LGBT youth via an emergency residential shelter
- Subgrants for service provision to the LGBT community in the regions
- Training on Human Rights and Ethics for students in journalism
- Subgrants for awareness raising in the regions for grassroots CSOs
- National public awareness raising campaigns
The expected results of the project are:
Outcome 1: Grassroots CSOs have improved their financial sustainability, and have acquired new skills and knowledge to advocate and implement actions improving the acceptance, inclusion and protection of the LGBT community in Tirana and the regions.
Outcome 2: The LGBT community in Albania, especially at-risk LGBT youth and transgender people, are benefiting from increased and improved counselling, protection and access to employment support in the Regions and Tirana.
Outcome 3: The image of the LGBT community in Tirana and the regions has improved through awareness raising activities in the regions and Tirana.
This project is co-funded by the European Union in Albania and by the French Agency for Development.
The overall goal
The project is aimed at fighting discrimination against women/the LGBT community and promoting gender equality in the Republic of Moldova through two main components which are 1) building capacity of women/LGBT organisations and activists and 2) increasing public awareness on gender equality issues.
Despite the fact that Moldova has made international and national commitments to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women, the implementation of gender equality and anti-discriminations measures remains problematic.
Women still face discrimination and inequality in social, economic and political life and their representation in Moldovan politics and decision-making remains below international benchmarks. Women in Moldova continue to be challenged by specific education and labour market barriers and face discriminatory practices in different areas. These include significant wage disparities, segregation into lower-paying occupations, unequal sharing of work and family responsibilities and limited access to childcare. Women entrepreneurs face barriers getting access to bank loans and to state-funded business and entrepreneurship development programmes. Violence against women in Moldova is serious and widespread; persistent patriarchal attitudes exacerbate this situation.
The situation with LGBT community is even worse. Despite the existing legal framework of anti-discriminatory acts, tolerance towards homosexuality is low in Moldovan society, which is strongly influenced by the religious communities. Moldova ranked 43rd out of 49 countries on LGBT rights on ILGA Europe’s (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) annual Rainbow Index 2018.
The specific objectives and expected results of the project are:
SO1: Build the capacities of women’s/LGBT rights organisations and activists to better promote women’s and LGBT rights
- Internal organisational and strategic assessment of the Gender Equality Platform and other women’s organisations (probably) to identify their needs for capacity building purposes;
- Women’s organisations will receive grants to implement their strategic development proposals;
- The training and grant scheme implementation within the framework of the National Leadership Academies for Women activists and NGO workers;
- Provision of Resilience Building Support to women/LBT activists and women/LGBT organisations
SO2: Advocate and raise awareness to promote gender equality and prevent all forms of discrimination against women and LGBT communities
- Awareness raising events on women issues organized in a network of Libraries across Moldova organized by IREX Europe
- A series of advocacy events in the frame of the 8th of March International Women’s day
- Support of the 2020 season of TV talk show “Optmart SRL” and offline meetings with the show’s audience in Chisinau and raions
BRYCA: Building Resistance in Youth in Central Asia to the influence of illegal hate speech and misinformation online and on social media – THE GAME
The overall goal
The project promotes critical thinking and aims to strengthen the resilience of youth to misinformation and hate speech online as part of the global objective to promote support to civil society in protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.
In the targeted Central Asia countries, except for Kyrgyzstan, authorities often use national security as an excuse for cracking down on free speech and independent journalism, maintaining these countries near the bottom of the press freedom tables. In parallel, levels of media literacy are universally low, with the public having little awareness of the role or responsibilities of the media in a democratic society. As elsewhere in the world, youth in Central Asia mainly and increasingly rely on online media and social media for their information. Traditional media, increasingly not accessed, also do not provide an effective counter to the messages of hate and misinformation found online. The result is a population increasingly vulnerable to misinformation and hate speech. In this context, the project appropriately responds to the needs of vulnerable youth to increase critical thinking, media literacy skills and resistance to the influence of illegal hate speech and misinformation, particularly on social media. Teachers, educators, youth leaders and community workers, as influential actors, will also be supported in order to improve their ability to engage with youth on these issues. Specifically, the project will strengthen the capacity of the beneficiaries by giving remote and marginalised youth the skills and methods needed to identify and resist misinformation and hate speech, and by giving educators, social workers and community workers resources to better engage with remote and marginalised youth.
The specific objectives and expected results of the project:
Objective 1 – To incentivise vulnerable youth in remote areas of Central Asia to participate in online and mobile educational games that build their critical thinking and counter disinformation and illegal hate speech.
- Monitoring of hate speech and disinformation program rolled out in each project country
- Development of games software and the platform
- Ongoing implementation of games and awarding of prizes: Each country will manage content production and delivery of prizes for the games, as well as collection of data on users, development of questionnaires as needed, and marketing for the games.
- Civic Actions for Youth: vulnerable youth will be invited to implement civic actions which will give them the opportunity to progress in the educational game
Objective 2 – To expand access to online information and educational tools that counter disinformation and illegal hate speech, promote critical thinking and the use of reliable independent sources across Central Asia.
The activities build on work done by IREX Europe, MSCF and MediaNet over the past two years during which the online media literacy tool Media Sabak was launched and a number of Media literacy curricula developed, with corresponding training of trainers and training of teachers, university lecturers and librarians. In particular, this project aims to harmonize the partners media literacy approach and training in the 4 countries, expand and build on Media Sabak platform, an online media literacy resource for Central Asia which is a fully accessible and open source resource in MIL for use by students, youth, teachers, librarians, university professors, community centre/youth workers and the public in general. In addition, the project envisages media literacy capacity building for educators/youth leaders/community workers and local media literacy training for marginalised youth.