In partnership with Lesvos-based NGO ILIAKTIDA, LATRA submitted and successfully got granted funding by Civic Europe, to implement the project PeaceBuilders of Lesvos. From a remarkable 841 applications, the eight-member jury of the Civic Europe team comprised of various civil society experts decided on the 19 winners, with our project being amongst them.
PeaceBuilders of Lesvos is a hands-on peacebuilding program, where multicultural, cross-generational and gender-inclusive local and refugee children, unaccompanied minors and youth, co-create actions, policies and a public campaign, that citizens, civil society, and policymakers can utilize across pockets of Europe, to systemically reconstruct a resilient civic fabric and shared democratic space, capable of curbing extremist ideology targeting the ‘other’ and the core values of our European community.
Though locally implemented, the project addresses relevant topics for the entire Union. The rise of nationalism and extremism, shrinking of democratic space and systemic dissipation of civil society. We will openly distribute our resources, best practices and insights to CSOs across Europe who can adapt, implement and scale them to address overarching challenges in their own localities by using co-creation with their citizens to systemically restore civic space across pockets of Europe. We will also utilize the public campaign produced by the youth, to appeal to citizens and policymakers across Europe who may or may not be sympathetic with our cause, as means of creating a safe, shared and open civic dialogue space where discursive opinions can be heard on the future of European democracy.
The Civic Europe Idea Challenge will now assist the winning ideas until the end of 2021 by providing them not only with funding, but also with mentoring and capacity building to implement their project ideas. We are super excited and looking forward to working with both the Civic Europe team as well as the other 18 winning projects.
Civic Europe is an incubator for locally rooted civic initiatives, organizations and individuals in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe realized by MitOst and Sofia Platform Foundation, funded by Stiftung Mercator.
Civic Europe supports individuals, initiatives and civil society organizations in the regions of Central, Southern and Eastern Europe challenged by low civic literacy and a lack of civic infrastructure and aims to strengthen civic cohesion and active citizenship in their communities. They offer mentoring and funding to implement their project ideas and to foster and promote their civic activities in the region. Civic Europe is a multi-level enabling framework that supports locally rooted organizations and projects.