August 2020 Newsletter

At BEARR, we are continuing to work remotely (August Trustees’ meeting above), but energetically.

In this issue we have four major items of BEARR News:We are recruiting a new part-time Information Officer to replace our invaluable Sophie. A rewarding post for the right person.Our survey of how COVID-19 is affecting the work of NGOs/CSOs in our region. Please complete this if it is relevant to you, and pass it on to all your contacts. We will use the results to help us understand where help is needed mostA report on our Annual Lecture, given by Tom de Waal, on the CaucasusAdvance notice of the webinars which will replace our Annual Conference in NovemberAlso, we have three major articles on the effect of COVID-19 on aspects of health and welfare.
And on Small Grants, we have a report by Sophie on her monitoring visit to Armenia, and reports of projects on combatting domestic violence run by grant recipients from Armenia, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.

Any comments regarding our newsletter?  Please email


BEARR news 

We are recruiting a part-time Information Officer to replace Sophie Vandyck, who is moving on. Please apply by 31st August. For more information on the position and how to apply, please follow this link

The BEARR Trust’s 2020 Annual Lecture, entitled ‘Europe’s Eastern Partnership/Russia’s ‘Near Abroad’ – living with powerful neighbours’, was given by Tom de Waal. Click through to read a report of the topics discussed. 

We are conducting a survey of how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced civil society organisations in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. We hope it will help us understand where help is most needed. Please fill in the survey via this link. It shouldn’t take you more than 5-7 minutes to complete. The results will be published on our website in September. 

Instead of holding our Annual Conference in London in November, we shall run three online seminars. Follow this link for more information. 

The Impact of COVID-19 on rural communities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a report by Nathan Dampier, BEARR Trust volunteer. 

Petru Negura examines the weaknesses but also unsuspected strengths of the Moldovan state and society, revealed by COVID-19. See more here

rom Judith Pallot; Lessons of the Recent Past: From Tuberculosis to COVID-19 in Russia’s Prisons. Read more here
BEARR project evaluation 

We hear from our Information Officer Sophie Vandyck about her evaluation trip to two NGOs in the Kotayk and Yerevan regions of Armenia. 

Project reports from some of our 2019 Small Grants Scheme; for projects dealing with Violence Against Women and Girls. 

The League of Polish Women, Chisinau, Moldova were awarded a grant in 2019 to develop Playback Theatre as an instrument for the rehabilitation of victims of violence, by training actors in Playback techniques. Read their project report here.

Improve Our Village, Kotayk Region, Armenia ran their project to help protect and empower Yazidi women victims by developing culinary skills and a greater awareness of their rights. Read their project report here.

Ulica Mira, St. Petersburg, Russia executed their project to deliver psychological help to women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) and to children who have witnessed IPV. This project was jointly funded by Help Impact. Read more here

We hear from Crisis Center Sezim, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan about the successes of their project to establish club meetings for women of 55+ who are victims of domestic violence. Read more here

News from the region 

Kazakhstan: corruption scandal over medical app
One million more volunteers in SONGOs in Russia
Wealthy Russians donating more to charity during the pandemic
Moldova’s response to COVID-19
Does the pandemic risk sending NGOs back to the last century?
The impact of COVID-19 on women’s and men’s lives and livelihoods – a gender assessment
Russian NGOs report on domestic violence during COVID-19
NGOs funded from US could be closed down
Turkmenistan – COVID – or just dust?
Duma approves law to give NGOs access to some social services
Central Asian migrants worst hit by coronavirus job losses in Russia


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