October 2020 Newsletter

This edition includes updates about BEARR’s three forthcoming webinars, as well as the results of our survey on the impact of Covid-19 on civil society organisations; project reports from several of our Small Grants Scheme recipients; an in-depth piece about the issue of statelessness in Ukraine, and news from throughout the EECA region. 

BEARR Events

November Webinars: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the BEARR Trust will not hold its usual Annual Conference in London this coming November. Instead, this year we will hold three separate online webinar discussions, each considering the impact of Covid-19 on civil society in the EECA from different angles. For further details on the webinars, please click here.

The webinars will take place as follows:

5 November – Civil Society Support for Persons with Disabilities 
12 November – Civil Society and Migrant Labour
19 November – Civil Society Organisations: meeting the challenges, best practice and ongoing needs

Details for registration will be sent out nearer the time. 

In case you missed BEARR’s Annual Lecture with guest speaker Tom de Waal in July 2020, a video is now available here. Tom  spoke about “Europe’s Eastern Partnership/Russia’s ‘Near Abroad’ – living with powerful neighbours”. (The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative involving the EU, its Member States and six Eastern European Partners).


BEARR recently conducted a survey on the impact of Covid-19 on Civil Society Organisations in the EECA region. 328 organisations and individuals responded to a wealth of questions about how they have been affected, how they have adapted and their hopes and plans for the future. You can read our preliminary analysis of the results here

The BEARR Trustees are delighted to welcome our new Information Officer, Louisa Long, who took up her post in September. We wish a fond farewell to Sophie Vandyck, who has left BEARR to continue pursuing a career in international development.

Volunteer Translators: The BEARR Trust is looking for native English speakers to translate Russian language news articles into English.  If you would like to help, please let us know by writing to info@bearr.org

Project reports from some of our Small Grant Scheme recipients

Kitezh, Moscow, Russia
In 2019, refuge organisation, Kitezh, received funding from BEARR to build a network of shelters for women experiencing domestic violence in Moscow and the surrounding region. They provided training and implemented a coordinated IT system across the shelters to ensure women are not turned away unnecessarily.  Read the full story here!

Zhenskie Initiativi, Blijniy, Moldova
Last year, 2019 Small Grants Scheme winner, Zhenskie Initiativi, received funding to set up a club called ‘I’m a Woman’, where women can meet irrespective of nationality, status or age. Here, they receive support and mutual assistance, and learn how to resolve personal problems and extricate themselves from stressful situations, including those involving violence. Access the full project report here

Tolerspace, Kyiv, Ukraine
In 2019, The BEARR Trust awarded NGO, Tolerspace, a grant for a project  to create a graphic novel for young girls, raising awareness of sexual harassment, cyber bullying and domestic violence. One of Tolerspace’s peer-guides, 17-year-old Olga Sidelnikova, describes the project’s goals and approach as well as what she learned from her involvement here


An in-depth article by Maryna Parfenchuk on Statelessness in Ukraine.

News from the Region

Six Months Into Pandemic, Migrant Workers in Russia Live in Makeshift Camps as They Wait to Go Home

32% of Russians don’t think discrimination is an issue

Yandex to provide services to CSOs free of charge

Russian regions most supportive of CSOs/NGOs

Russia: NGOs and internet companies sign memorandum on social advertising

Kyrgyz Health Workers Bear Brunt of COVID-19

International accelerator for Sustainable Development Goals opened for Russian business and NGOs

Turkmen Food Crisis Amid Pandemic

Putin commits his government to help NGOs

Women across Europe and Central Asia are stepping up to innovate for change amid a pandemic

How to increase Russians’ support for charities dealing with mental illness

Russia: HIV testing up thanks to NGO information

How CSOs can increase transparency and combat fraud

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