According to last year’s Eurobarometer, Slovakia is at the tail of EU when it comes to acceptance of LGBT+ people. This is not surprising, as Slovakia is a rather rural, socially conservative country with few LGBT+ organisations. We will change this figure by employing a blend of online and offline activities (trainings, micro-grants, online mobilisation and activism platform) to promote culture of living in diversity, attract new people to the movement and kick-start Slovak LGBT+ activism.
Our project will take place in Slovakia, focusing on smaller towns, where LGBT+ are less visible
Only 31% of Slovaks believe that LGBT+ people should have the same rights as straight people (Eurobarometer on Discrimination 2019), the lowest in the whole EU. But this dire numbers have a positive backlash of its own, with many people starting to realise that “something” needs to be done to change this. However, there are only approx. 10 LGBT+ organisations, mainly in the biggest cities. Their capacity to absorb, facilitate and support all these people who are eager to help is critically low, their reach to rural areas is minimal.
These organisations have limited capacity to recruit volunteers, work with them and organise for the change of social acceptance of LGBT+ people. Most of them survive from grant to grant, while state support is scarce and individual donor base is non-existent.
The idea is centred about developing blended infrastructure for LGBT+ activism, providing a variety of opportunities for people to get engaged in ways that suit them and their reality the most – from offline trainings to micro-grants to using an online community platform. This low-cost open-source online platform is central, it will help to support various local initiatives and will harness people’s engagement, but will be also based on emerging local communities outside of the capital. It will be run mainly by volunteer moderators with content created by its users.
The learning element of all activities will include the understanding of how social change in democracy works so that people who get engaged can understand how their involvement can help to bring a positive social change.
The project would involve wide variety of voices not only LGBT+ people themselves but families, friends and others who might be "sitting on the fence" in regards of LGBT+ people’s rights.
There is tension in the discourse of "westernised pressure" when it comes to human rights and particularly rights of LGBT+ people. The project would explore the fact that the LGBT+ people have been part of the society same as anywhere in the world and drawing parallels with other rights Slovak citizens gained through EU.
While LGBT+ people themselves are the usual suspects, this project aims at a broader audience, hoping to support the creation of both LGBT-specific and broader initiatives, projects and communities.
Project consists of:
- participatory moderated online platform
- basic activism trainings (on history and values of social movement, on basic project management skills) – min. 3 sets, 3 weekends each, 20 participants each set
- advanced activism trainings (on advocacy, community organising, lobbying, fundraising) – min. 4 wknd trainings, 15 pax per training
- microgranting scheme
All these elements are interconnected – people engaged in the online platform will be encouraged to attend trainings, people from trainings will be invited to use the platform to get more involved. The platform will support engagement through various “challenges” – e.g. organising a movie night - and will provide reading materials and peer support. Participants will be able to propose challenges for others.
At the end of the project we expect to have a vibrant online community with at least 3000 users, 40 % of which being active at least once in 5 days. The community will be cared by several volunteer moderators. The community users would have completed at least 5000 various challenges, ranging from small things like leafletting or attending human rights rallies or PRIDEs to canvassing and organising local events. This will bring increased visibility to LGBT+ issues at local level, creation of at least 10 new community initiatives in smaller cities, establishment of local networks of people supportive of human rights in general and human rights of LGBT+ people in particular.
At least 100 people will have attended trainings (basic or advanced), at least 10 000 € will have been re-granted.
This project helps develop civil society infrastructure and democratic capacity in one EU country, thus serving as a role model or inspiration for other countries, mainly its neighbours. It strengthens the respect for human rights of LGBT+ people in yet another part of the Union, thus raising the bar for the whole EU.
The dedicated group of activists connected via the online platform could be invited to respond to European issues, not only local ones.
Some people who get trained in activism in this project will naturally move around Europe, thus disseminating the project outcomes.
We see this project as an opportunity to increase the capacities of the LGBT+ movement in Slovakia by several orders of magnitude, harnessing the power of “positive” backlash against the rising tide of conservativism and creating necessary foundation for push for social change. Engaging the envisaged amount of people via more “traditional” methods would take years and loads of resources.
People behind this project are LGBT+ themselves thus the topic and aim is very personal. We want to live in a country where we can feel safe, secure and accepted.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Online platform development – 8000 €
Online community manager – 6000 €
Basic activism trainings – 10800 €
Trainer’s fees for basic activism trainings – 8100 €
Advanced activism trainings – 4800 €
Trainer’s fees for advanced activism trainings – 3600 €
Microgranting scheme – 10 000 €
Project management and administration – 8000 €
Overhead – 2000 €
For the platform development, we'll be talking to friendly IT companies to cover those costs and we'll cover overhead and admin ourselves.
Is the idea clear, given the limited space we have? Mainly with regards to the online platform
Is this something that would interest you to join?