Small Grants Scheme 2023: Preliminary Results

In contrast to previous years, for 2023 BEARR did not set a specific theme for its Small Grants Scheme. Instead, in line with our long-term mission to foster cooperation at the grassroots level of civil society, we asked for joint projects between two or more CSOs to support vulnerable people in any area of health and social welfare.

It was therefore up to applicants to identify a particular issue and choose a specific target group for the focus of their proposal, in turn allowing BEARR to support projects across a range of needs as prioritised locally. We were pleased to see a range of themes identified in the submitted proposals, including

  • support for migrants at border crossings
  • innovative therapies for victims of gender-based violence
  • psychological and legal support for families with children with disabilities
  • advocacy work on the provision of rights for vulnerable groups

This constituted the ‘A’ strand of the scheme, and applications were open to CSOs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. We were particularly encouraged by applications that initiated cross-border partnerships, thereby promoting long-term international co-operation between small CSOs.

We were also impressed by the high quality of the applications we received, especially from the Central Asian countries where we work – in part due to once again running a well-attended Small Grants Scheme Webinar earlier in the year.

For Strand ‘B’, we welcomed applications of up to £1,000 from existing BEARR grantees in Ukraine and Moldova for projects to improve the organisation’s resilience and the welfare of staff and volunteers.

These applications highlighted the severe burnout and great strain experienced by organisations who have been working tirelessly to distribute humanitarian aid and support IDPs and refugees since the full-scale invasion last year. Proposals for this stand offered thoughtful and considered solutions to dealing with the associated consequences of the war on their work, including:

  • resilience training
  • wellness workshops
  • strategic planning
  • rehabilitation programmes
  • technical equipment to improve the efficacy of their work  

101 proposals were submitted, with 67 for Strand A and 34 for Strand B. We were delighted to receive applications from 9 of the 10 eligible countries.

Each application has now been reviewed by the assessment team, with the final list of successful applicants agreed by the full board of BEARR Trustees. As ever, we regret that we are unable to fund more of the projects submitted. A full list of grant winners and a description of their projects will be published in due course. 

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