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Capacity Building and Partnerships between Baltic and Nordic Countries Project (June 2023-May 2024)

Updated: 5 days ago


The project funded by Nordic Council of Ministers in Lithuania, Nordic-Baltic Non-governmental Organizations' Cooperation program aimed to enhance the organizational capacities of refugee-led organizations in Lithuania and Latvia through strategic partnerships and knowledge exchange with Nordic counterparts (Startup Refugees from Finland, Kompis Sverige from Swedan, Refugee Council from Lithuania and Dialog Nams from Latvia). By learning from established partners, the project focused on improving program management, integration strategies, and overall organizational effectiveness. Special attention was given to the inclusion of Ukrainian refugees, with a focus on capacity-building activities and onsite visits in Finland and Sweden.

In total, the project involved 25 participants in experience exchange (staff members, volunteers, interns of 10 NGOs). 15 staff members, volunteers, interns from 4 partner NGOs in the project. Partners participated in capacity building online workshops. During the project 2 physical visits for experience exchange with the partners were organized in Sweden and Finland. 1 staff member with refugee background from Latvian NGO (Dialogu Nams) and 1 staff member from Refugee Council of Lithuania participated in visit in Sweden, Stockholm organized by Kompis Sverige organization. 10 people from Kompis Sverige and their partner organizations were involved in the presentations and experience exchange meetings with the visitors from the Baltic countries. In Finland, Helsinki 2 staff members participated from Refugee Council of Lithuania in exchange visit organized by Startup Refugees (one of them with refugee background). 7 people from Startup Refugees and partner organizations participated in exchange meetings in Finland with visitors from Lithuania. In Finland presentations and discussions focused on labor integration and entrepreneurship of refugees. In Sweden presentations focused more on strategic development and on engagement with migrant and refugee communities. In both countries we also had presentations of the projects and research on their work with Ukrainian refugees, visited several centers to shadow and observe work of Nordic organizations in practice, could also get feedback from their clients about impact of their work. 15 people (staff members, volunteers) from 4 organizations participated in a number of capacity building and exchange online meetings and consultations led by staff of Startup Refugees and Kompis Sverige. The leading organizations and trainers were selected because of their experience and because of the recommendations by UNHCR staff as they have professional programs, impact communication, strategic planning and community engagement initiatives. Baltic organizations also actively contributed during the discussions and shared examples from their practice.

As a result of project contribution, now the Baltic organizations offer more effective refugee support programming and response to Ukrainian refugee influx in Baltic countries; Refugee Council of Lithuania and Dialog Nams in Latvia improved organizational capacities and management skills, expanded networks of partners/partnerships with Nordic region NGOs and exchanged the experiences of refugee and migrant integration initiatives among project partners. Currently we use newly gained skills and capacities in Refugee Council of Lithuania, implementing larger scale entrepreneurship programs for Ukrainian refugee communities and are invited to prepare new project applications with our new Nordic partners. During the project, 1) 25 members from partner NGOs gained new and relevant knowledge and experiences, how to respond more effectively to Ukrainian refugee situations, built capacities, exchanged experiences about refugee and migrant integration initiatives, 2) at least 8 new informal partnerships built among Baltic and Nordic NGOs, 4 NGOs project partners got to know each other’s work very well, exchanged practices and shared ideas for common projects;

3) 7 participants (15 registrations) at dissemination event 'Inclusive Innovation: Nordic-Baltic Perspectives on Refugee Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement', where was shared by Refugee Council of Lithuania, what was learnt during visits in Nordic countries and during online training;

4) 2 new activities organized by Refugee Council of Lithuania involving Ukrainian communities, where new gained capacities and partnerships are shared in practice- business networking events for refugee communities; refugee entrepreneurship trainings for Ukrainians, where we use gained capacities and knowledge.

This publication has been produced with the financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the coordinators of this project and do not necessary reflect the views or policies of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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