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modified Monday, 13 December 2010

Proiect CeRe
Back to the grassroots
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Community Organizing Program

CeRe started community organizing in the autumn of 2009 in the framework of the “Back to the grassroots” project financed by the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe.

We have started in two neighborhoods of Bucharest – Lacul Tei and Favorit area - with two community organizers trained by the Slovak Center for Community Organizing, our partner in the project. Soon, we have extended the team of organizerers and added four new neighborhoods to the existing ones – Maica Domnului, Callatis-Drumul Taberei, Titulescu-Grivitei, and Dristor.

In the six neighborhoods selected, we followed the classical three step process in community organizing: listening through door-knocking, research and action. After the listening phase, we tried to form in each neighborhood a core of people interested in solving the problems identified. In four of the neighborhoods, we helped the core leadership organize community meetings to prioritize and choose democratically the issues they want to work on, and to attract new members. During the next months, we helped the groups identify potential solutions to the problems selected and conduct advocacy campaigns in order to persuade public authorities to make those solutions a reality.

Three of the groups we have worked with since 2010 had small successes in their neighborhoods, convincing public authorities to solve the issues they considered priorities:

  • Callatis-Drumul Taberei Initiative Group convinced public authorities to pave an alley between two schools that was used for years as a garbage dump, and to transform a playground too close to people’s windows into a garden like it once was.
  • The group in Lacul Tei neighborhood succeeded in convincing public authorities to build a sidewalk on an alley where people were forced to walk alongside with cars. They also proposed a solution to alleviate the parking problem in the area that the authorities have accepted.
  • In Favorit area, the group fought to restore an old cinema building and to transform it into a cultural center. After a one year advocacy campaign, the 6th district City Hall made important steps towards the Cultural Center – the feasibility study has been voted by the City Council in August 2011.

Even though Back to the grassroots project ended officially in May 2011, CeRe continues to work closely with four of the civic initiative groups - Favorit, Callatis, Lacul Tei, and Titulescu, due to the financial support of the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and the European Commission.

The goal of the “Citizens in action” project funded by the Black Sea Trust for one year (from the 1st of September 2011 to the 31st of August 2012) is to sustain the growth and the advocacy campaigns of two already existing civic initiative groups from Bucharest. In order to accomplish this goal, CeRe’s community organizers will:

  • help groups better organize themselves and choose further issues they want to work on in accordance with community priorities and needs
  • help groups agree upon the best solution for the problem identified
  • assist them during the research phase and facilitate their meetings
  • help them organize public consultations in the neighborhood in order to gather citizens’ problems, suggestions and views
  • assist them to draw an advocacy plan and push through their solution in front of local public authorities
  • help them reinforce the group and attract new members - community organizers will help informal leaders bring new members into the group. They will hence continue to conduct interviews in the neighborhoods in order to enlarge the membership base.

Another goal of the “Citizens in action” project is to foster experience exchange between CeRe and NGOs from the Republic of Moldova – CRAION Contact from Cahul city and the Associtation of Citizens with Initiative (ACI) from Cantemir city - that are interested in applying or have already used community organizing as a participation method. During the project, with CeRe’s assistance, two civic initiative groups will be formed in Cahul and Cantemir and helped to conduct advocacy campaigns for the local issues selected.

CeRe’s community organizing team:

Nicoleta Chirita – Project Coordinator – nicoleta@ce-re.ro

Iustina Neagu – Community Organizer – iustina@ce-re.ro

Cristina Tataru – Community Organizer – cristina@ce-re.ro

Ioana Petrache – Community Organizer – ioana.petrache@ce-re.ro

Gallery

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Favorit Renaste5 Favorit Renaste5 Intalnire cetateni Favorit Intalnire cetateni Favorit Intalnire cetateni Favorit 2 Intalnire cetateni Favorit 2
Intalnire cetateni Favorit 3 Intalnire cetateni Favorit 3 Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 2 Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 2
Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 3 Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 3 Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 4 Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 4 Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 5 Intalnire cetateni Lacul Tei 5
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