Toward active and inclusive civil society: through participation, engagement and cooperation.

Toward active and inclusive civil society: through participation, engagement and cooperation.

The main goal of the project is to enhance social-cohesion between Estonian and mainly Russian speaking communities of North Estonia and facilitate to Russian speaking community access to civic society activities by initiating sustainable and contrastive dialogue and improving vulnerable groups’ representatives’ skills/knowledge on active citizenship, critical thinking and digitalisation.

Additional aims of the project is to:
– Increase practical skills and knowledge of citizens, organizations and vulnerable community representative to meaningfully participate in democratic society;
– Work together around common agendas, building trust and positive perspectives and narratives in and out of Russian speaking communities;
– Support facilitation process of Institutions work together to connect with diverse communities, building a sustainable ecosystem for skills for democratic societies and cross-community cohesion.
– Increase the motivation of the Russian-speaking population and organizations that use Russian as the language of communication.
– To promote awareness in Northern Estonia of the problems related to the involvement of the Russian-speaking population and Russian-speaking organizations.
– To promote co-operation between Estonian-language and Russian-language organizations operating in Northern Estonia.
– Re-launch the Civil Society Network of Non-Profit Associations in North Estonia (where Russian is used as the language of communication), which would support the development of Russian-speaking NGOs and co-operation between NGOs in whole country.
– Submit their (vulnerable groups) proposals to British Council, the Ministry of the Interior, IVOL, IVEK, HEAK and local government management (incl. additional ideas / initiatives/projects/ solutions on inclusion/engagement of Russian speaking civil society and their vision of social policies and  Development Plan) on how to better involve and cooperate (with representatives of vulnerable groups)  with the organization /citizens who are using Russian as the language of communication, according to the needs of the target group.

The target groups of the project are individualsvulnerable communities (isolated and with fewer opportunities) and institutions (civil society organisations) mainly from  North Estonia (mainly from Tallinn (Lasnamäe and Põhja-Tallinn districs, Paldiski + Maardu) and Ida-Virumaa county (from cities like Kohtla-Järve, Jõhvi, Sillamäe and Narva cities) – its an adults and young people (16 -26 years) and various local civil society organisations who are in need of improvement and development of own intuitions (working with Russian speaking audience) and connection/engagement with liberal democratic/political processes and active civic life.

Up to 410 people will be directly involved in the project, with larger number of indirect participants. When involving the target group, we take into account gender, geographical representativeness, equality and motivation/ abilities of participants, capacity of institutions and they needs.

Activities includes:
  • The Kick off meeting in Tallinn (10 people)
  • One public discussion on active participation and its challenges for Russian speaking communities members in Civil Societies and their influence on Civil Society and community life  (20 people)
  • Civil Society Forum 2021 (Main objective is to have a constructive exchange of ideas, as well as for making contributions and general statements. Invited all representatives of vulnerable groups and stakeholders and involved as many different part of society including youth, elders, people with special needs, governmental bodies, networks and civil society development, business and founders, media and politicians) up to 100 partiicpants.
  • One study visits for CSOs in Tallinn – Study visits are designed to provide for NGOs, citizens, vulnerable community leaders from all nationalities, aged 16 or over, with opportunities for more detailed study of specific subjects relating to Estonian Civil Society, Organisation Capacity building, inclusion  and participation in decision making. Also it provides a practical experience and share of best practices by well known and quite successful civil society organisations (15 participnats)
  • Civil Society and Capacity Building themed training programm (November – January 2022) – The training consists of 5 on-site/ and/or online trainings (training includes a full training day, the training plan and the way it is organized are coordinated with involved partners, expert institutions and cooperation partner. (in total 120 people). We will provide skills on following topics:
    *communication skills (work with media channels, social networks for NGOs),
    *collaboration leadership, teamwork, problem solving skills,
    *digital skills (digital solution for NGOs, critical thinking, combating digital disinformation)
    *and negotiation and conflict resolutions and project management.
  • Civil Society Empowerment roundtable in Tallinn (25.02.2022) – The objective of Civil Society empowerment roundtable to it’s to summaries all activities, to present results of main events and share them with decision makers and opinion leaders, media and funders. Also to discuss a follow up and creation of civil society round table at local level where all community representatives could have an opportunity to present their worries, challenges and solutions in terms of development of civil society, inclusion of vulnerable groups and taking into account their voice and vision (40 people)

Outcomes: 

  1. Involved target group representatives from vulnerable communities will  increases their skills and knowledge how to meaningfully participate in democratic society  by promoting active citizenship and importance social-cohesion between Estonian and mainly Russian speaking communities
  2. Through conducted training programm project participants will gain new skills and positive experience on active citizenship, critical thinking, communication, digitalisation, get useful tools and many others additionally will raise own motivation. Also they will  exchange their experience between each other and moreover individuals will receive an opportunity to share own ideas and skills with governmental stakeholders and a mentors for own colleagues/community members on issues related with participative democracy, as knowledge and use of it is important part of democratic society.
  3. Through development of 3 join project/initiatives by Estonian and Russian speaking “communities”, who will work together on solving of social problems and improvement of collaboration what will bring a positive experience, perspectives and narratives within communities and in society. Also they work on development of join statement and proposal to decision makers for development agendas on local and regional level on improvement of civil society life and engagement and setting common agendas to coordinate cooperation and build a trust between each other.
  4.  Involved NGOs, governmental institutions and different stakeholders work together to reconnect and create new networks/cooperation ties with vulnerable groups from Russian speaking communities/ organisations to build a sustainable ecosystem and dialogue bridge, what will transfer skills to all parties to have a democratic society and cross-community cohesion.
  5. We will reinforce work of existing Civil Society Network of Russian-speaking non-profit associations and include interested bodies/individuals to join with a non-formal network of/ civil society activist by promoting importance of cooperation and be an agent of change who will build social cohesion within communities. An NGOs and vulnerable groups representative will have more trust in governmental institutions and created sustainable ecosystem will be allow to be more included into society.

Programm is supported by British Council  #PeopletoPeople

MATERIALS
– Posters
– Pictures
– Summary of the training and study visit programm
– Summary of the round table