Within its 1st open call for proposals the Active Citizens Fund received altogether 58 project proposals.
A total of EUR 1,100,000 was available for CSOs working in public benefit for projects aiming at strengthening democratic culture and civic awareness, wider support for human rights and equal treatment and empowering of vulnerable groups. Among others, the ACF supported a project Green Tiger by the Teeme Ära Foundation that aims to raise public awareness and civic activism to tackle over-consumption and waste; the organisation of annual Opinion Festival and its new formats like civil society discussion labs and democracy fitness targeting the youth. NGO Peaasjad will enlarge their activities in making mental health first aid available, including Russian-speaking communities; Transparency International Estonia will focus on enhancing the reporting on wrongdoing and advocating for better protection of whistleblowers in Estonia. Altogether 17 projects lasting from 18 to 24 months received support.
The complete list of project promoters and projects along with grant amounts is available at https://acf.ee/en/funded-projects
One of the priorities of the Active Citizens Fund is the bilateral cooperation with donor countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, therefore projects that engaged project partners from donor countries received additional scores in the evaluation process. Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Mr. Ole Øveraas of the Royal Norwegian Embassy was pleased that many much-needed initiatives are gaining momentum. "Norway has been a loyal supporter of Estonian civil society organisations already since 2007 and will continue to do so in the coming years as well. It is important for both Norway and Estonia that there are strong accountable civil society organisations and that vulnerable groups are protected," Øveraas added.
Mall Hellam, Executive Director of the Open Estonia Foundation underlined that Estonian CSOs value greatly the support by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. „Active civil society organisations and advanced civic culture are the basis of an innovative society. Today we need systematic, transparent funding opportunities that focus on democratic values and capacity building of civil society more than ever," Hellam commented.
The 2nd open call for small projects focussing at capacity building of CSOs is currently open; the deadline for submitting applications is December 9, 2019. Additional information can be found at www.acf.ee
The Active Citizens Fund is a specific programme area within the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The Active Citizend Fund in Estonia is operated by the Open Estonia Foundation in consortium with the Network of Estonian Non-profit Organisations.
ACF programme coordinator
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