Fighting against discrimination and empowering people to speak up require safe and brave spaces, where LGBT+ people matter, where they feel safe and included. We want to create these spaces, by 1. Offering LGBT+ people the opportunity to gather together and share knowledge, organize, take action and 2. Educating people working in public institutions on LGBT+ issues. We want to increase civic engagement by empowering LGBT+ people to be active and by creating inclusive projects and spaces.
Timisoara, western part of Romania
Up until 2001, homosexuality was criminalized; afterwards, Romanian LGBT+ NGOs started to be more vocal and active, mainly in the capital city and other large cities. Zooming in on Timisoara, the local administration had public homophobic comments up until 2020, which made it challenging for any person or group to organise public events without hate speech and acts of vandalism. Although Timisoara is a large urban area, local activism was absent and there was no public or strategic local support from any institutions or representatives within the civil sector. The need for a platform of advocates and educators, and civic engagement (local decision making process and representation) has always been an important issue within the community.
Geographically, our work focuses on LGBT+ people living in Timisoara. We plan to shape the community as a safe and brave space (where people are empowered to speak up and be active), offering a safe place where people can gather, educate (themselves and others), discuss, collaborate.
Secondly, we want to address the problem of institutional discrimination, which leads us to the second target group, consisting of workers from within the local administration (city council, law enforcement) and civil society representatives and groups.
We plan to bring the community together, to empower people to represent themselves and the LGBT+ community in different local civic and social groups, by collaborating with other NGOs and change agents, and by building strategic partnerships.
Firstly, we will bring together and have a dialogue with the larger LGBT+ community of Timisoara, then identify and support individuals who are interested to engage and contribute to shaping a more inclusive city. We will organize community meetings to identify the needs of the local community related to representation, visibility, equal rights and access to services.
Secondly, we will provide the resources & the know-how needed to transform the needs into solutions & actions. These resources can be support groups, peer2peer workshops and specific trainings, all within a safe and brave space, dedicated for community work.
We also want to work together with the local authorities and administration, and with the civil sector and youth NGOs. We will be educators and provide them with relevant information on LGBT+ people and the issues they face everyday. By starting a dialogue and (re)presenting ourselves, we want to make allies and build strategic partnerships. We will use storytelling, (social media) awareness campaigns, guides and toolkits, workshops and trainings to address LGBT+ topics and discuss them with our partners.
Our aim is to empower LGBT+ people, as well as to educate & develop partnerships with public entities. At the end of the project, we will have knowledgeable and empowered youth & activists & members of the LGBT+ community, who will (be better prepared to) engage in the dialogue with other public entities (local administration, representatives, other NGOs). We will create resources for the community, for allies and partners, for public authorities and the administration: monthly community meetings, 3 guides and toolkits, 2 tailored trainings for city council and law enforcement, administrative guidelines for Universities related to transgender youth.
We plan to increase the level of social and political engagement by bringing people together (unite & solidarize), discussing their ideas and prioritizing them (organize), supporting and providing the know-how & other resources (empower), and addressing institutional discriminaton, stereotypes and prejudices (educate others & establish partnerships).
We will create a safe and brave space for LGBT+ people to find their voice and speak up with no fear; we will provide knowledge and resources and opportunities for members of the LGBT+ community to familiarize themselves with their rights and advocacy tools and processes. We will support them in their process of turning ideas into actions.
Deea Radulescu is a LGBT+ activist with extensive project management experience, the founder of Identity.Education and a powerful voice for the transgender non-binary comunity in Romania. Having lived all their life in Timisoara, they are aware of the importance of awareness and education and that by working together as a community and with partners, we can make Timisoara a safer city for LGBT+ people.
Lavinia Chirica’s activism in LGBT+ community organisations gave her the necessary tools to help people organize themselves, find their voices and speak up. Her work in different cities of Romania made her more aware of the universal issues & specific, local needs of a community, and gave her the privilege to strengthen partnerships between different NGOs.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Specific/Tailored trainings and workshops: 3500 Euro
Travel and accommodation: 2000 Euro
Awareness campaigns and materials: 5000 Euro
Rent, utilities, security services: 3600 Euro
Office equipment and supplies: 3000 Euro
Staffing costs: 7800 Euro
Indirect costs/Others: 1000 Euro
It would really help us to know if you have experience with similar projects, what are the do’s and the dont’s that we should know beforehand. However, any feedback, on anything people consider relevant and useful for us, would be very much appreciated. :)