Civil Society Exchange 1
First Stage: 8- 12 July Workshop Kartal, Istanbul
Following the successful application to the Civil Society Exchange program, two representatives from Bodrum’da İnsanca Yaşam Derneği /Bodrum Humanity, Ayca and Chris, attended the four day Civil Society Exchange in Kartal, Istanbul. We were honoured to discover we were one of the eight organisations chosen out of the 93 applications for the Turkish partners.
‘The purpose of the programme is to enable partnerships to work on one common organizational issue and to develop a model for themselves to implement in their organizations.’
It was an energizing experience meeting with the eight CSOs from various parts of Turkey working in different fields, and with the nine partner CSOs from Europe. With the expert and sympathetic facilitators from Bilgi University Civil Society Centre and their partner MitOst, we all quickly built trust and openness sharing the common concerns and approaches to problem solving in small and medium size CSOs. Fundraising, building networks and strong volunteer groups were the three main concerns with all the CSOs.
Unlike some of the other CSO partnerships who have met earlier or already worked together, we met for the first time our partner from Athens –Society Kitchen: “The Other Human”. We discussed our shared challenges and how we can learn from and support each other. We started forming projects with them about building a committed volunteer group.
Over the next six months of the Civil Society Exchange the representatives of CSOs from Greece, Georgia, France, Czech Republic, Germany and Bulgaria will exchange experience and plan joint activities with partners from Turkey – Istanbul, Izmir, Canakkale, Denizli, Ankara and Bodrum
The program will end with a final event planned for February 2018 in Berlin. It is organised by MitOst Foundation (Germany) and by Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey) with the support of Mercator Foundation (Germany).
(CSO= Civil Society Organisation/ NGO)