The networking conference “Stay Connected” took place in Berlin on October 24-26. It was organized by the Institute for Internal Affairs of Germany supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany. The representatives of NGOs from the countries of Eastern Partnership were able to meet their German colleagues, define and discuss the ideas for future joint projects.
There could be said that the meeting of partners happened in one of the most amazing capitals of Europe. But something more happened – it was the meeting of ideas that are able to change if not all the world at once but its significant part for sure. Any change starts from an exact person. And when there are 43 persons like that in one room, appears the faith that we are able to build socially responsible society in small steps.
Thus, we have work productively with several organizations in Germany for at least three years – open channel OK TV, Ludwigshafen, Youth4Media and Bürgerhaus Bennohaus, Munster – we were also present at this meeting. From the Ukrainian side, Kateryna Sokolova, assistant for international collaboration of the Institute of Journalism, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, attended the event. From the German side, it was Wolfgang Ressmann, an executive director of the open channel OK TV, Ludwigshafen.
In 2017, we had a prepared plan of the project but the circumstances didn’t allow us to implement it. The meeting in Berlin was a wonderful opportunity to discuss the project for 2018 and other possible ways of collaboration. Thanks to this meeting with more than 40 representatives of organizations from different countries, we could compare the spheres of our activities and choose prospective participants and partners for future projects.
One of the important moments of the conference was the presentation of the film“Forbidden Friends” https://vimeo.com/186056903 about the friendship of two women from Armenia and Azerbaijan in conditions of conflicts between these countries. Also there was presented a platform https://wechange.de/. It is a quite powerful mean for project management. It allows to create closed groups for the participant of a current project where you can add any files and news. There are no restrictions considering the content volume. It was created as an alternative for Google Drive. The main difference between these two resources is that Google sells users information to advertisement agencies and it is a dangerous place for saving of important files or personal information. We Change is a resource that protects information of the user and doesn’t sell in to advertisement companies.
During the conference, the work was organized in the groups with different topics. We were lucky to get into the group “Mobilization of young civic society actors”. The most important discussed issue was the funding of the projects and documentation managing. The participants shared their experience on avoiding of bureaucracy acts and finding financial sources in the country of organizations’ residence.