Tuesday, March 27, 2007

World Bank Announces Four Winners Of Small Grants Program In Belarus Focusing On Citizen Empowerment, The Environment, And Disabled Young People

Washington, D.C., March 6, 2007

World Bank Announces Winners of Small Grants Program in Belarus

Belarus’ Winners of the Small Grants Program of the World Bank (SmGP) for civil society organizations have been announced. Four civil society organizations, which proposed solutions to environmental challenges at a local level, will receive grants of $8,000 - 10,000 to implement their projects ideas. The projects were selected by a special committee comprising besides World Bank staff representatives from the Ministry of Nature Resources and Environmental Protection and from the Small Grants Program of the United Nations Development Program/Global Environmental Facility in Belarus (UNDP/GEF).

The Small Grants Program of the World Bank aims to make development more inclusive and to empower citizens to have greater ownership of development processes. The program helps disseminate information and enhance cooperation between key development players, including public sector agencies, civil society organizations, bilateral and multilateral organizations, funds, and the private sector.

The Small Grants Program of the World Bank for civil society organizations has been implemented in Belarus since 1999. During this time 54 projects received support totaling about $300,000. The projects were selected out of more than 500 applications. In recent years, the program has become thematic. In 2005, the program supported projects, which aimed to mitigate long-term post Chernobyl consequences. Activities supported in 2006 related to the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. The focus of the program in 2007 is environmental protection.

"We have received 36 applications, and the committee had a challenging task of selecting the winners. A series of criteria were considered, such as inclusion of vulnerable groups (for instance, disabled young people and orphans), regional focus of the proposed activities, possibility of achieving the goals within a relatively short period. Almost all project proposals submitted for the Small Grants Program in 2007 were thoroughly prepared and appropriately presented. We hope that the organizations that have not won World Bank awards will receive support from other sources," noted Elena Klochan, Operations Officer from the World Bank Country Office in Belarus.

The following projects are announced winners of the SmGP in 2007:

- “Milashki: Clean Water”. The project will be implemented in the village of Milashki of Braslav rayon by an international civil society organization "Understanding".

- “Our Home Is Our Concern”. The project will be implemented in the village of Tarasovo of Minsk Oblast by the Minsk city branch of a civil society association «Belarusian Association for Assistance to Children and Young People with Disabilities".

- “I Am For Clean Smilovichi”. The project is prepared by an international civil society organization "Education without Boundaries".

- International ecologic television and cinema forum of the countries in Eastern and Central Europe and the Baltic: "Role of Cinema, Television, and Mass Media in Addressing Environmental Problems". The project is prepared by a republican civil society organization "Belarus Association of Cinematographers".

Source: The World Bank Program for Belarus via Embassy of Belarus, Washington, D.C.

Christian Orthodox Church, in winter, in Tarasovo, Minsk Oblast, Belarus, Greater Europe.

Photo credit: (c) Den Jigunoff 2007. All rights reserved. Via TrekEarth www.trekearth.com. With thanks.


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