During the last few months we had a number of very inspiring talks with organizations and civil society actors from Hungary, Poland and Romania. Our aim was to identify regions with low civic infrastructure in each country and to find local partners working in these regions in the field of civic education, capacity building and/or community engagement.
We are happy to share that we identified the regions and found our local partners: On board are Alternative Communities Association (AKE), from Debrecen & Dialogue Association, from Miskolc in Hungary; NGO’s support center (OWOP), from Podlaskie in Poland; and PACT foundation (Partnership for Community Action and Transformation), from Bucharest working in the south of Romania.
Two weeks ago we all finally gathered together to get to know each other, to build our new international partnership and to start the co-creation of the program for each respective country. It was a 3 day online meeting and the first time for us to build a program together without meeting in person. What happened? We had fun - obviously. We got to know each other as organizations and as human beings. We developed together first concrete results such as our impact chain and activity plans. And now we cannot wait to dive into the next steps of the program design.
We are all looking forward to a great collaboration.
Half a year ago we were quite sceptical about it, but we learned that you can start a fruitful international cooperation even online. Creative solutions made it work for us: videos from organizations or storytelling as a method enabled us to create meaningful connections. Digital collaborative tools replaced our flipcharts and post-it walls. And with the right people, motivation and concentration, it is fun and brings energy after all. But of course, it does not replace meeting each other in person and we missed having small talks in the breaks or over lunch.
We thank all our partners for their commitment, energy, and concentration during these 12 hours on Zoom and hopefully will meet everybody in person soon.