The new Prague Civil Society Centre explained

February 23, 2015

On 23 February 2015 Radio Prague reported that a new centre designed to promote civic engagement in post-Soviet countries has formally begun operating in Prague. The Prague Civil Society Centre seeks to cultivate values such as openness and human rights in countries such as Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine.  Download MP3  for the full interview by Dominik Jun with Rostislav Valvoda, head of the new centre.

Rostislav Valvoda, photo: Czech Television

 

 

 

Rostislav Valvoda, photo: Czech Television

The mission of the centre is to empower civil society across the countries of Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. This means civil society organizations, NGOs, and citizen initiatives that can be both physical and online-based bloggers. We simply use a broad understanding of civil society to include opinion-makers as well as some professional groups such as journalists, independent filmmakers, artists and so on.”…. “We do not see this as meddling. We see it as supporting a civil society in terms of what a civil society wants, and what the needs of the people on the ground are.

The centre is being established in partnership People in Need and the Human Rights House Foundation and also in co-operation with a Polish think-tank, the Institute for Public Affairs. These are the three founding organizations. And we have attracted funding from five donors – two private donors, the CS Mott Foundation and the Oak Foundation; and then the US, Swedish, and Czech governments.”

We see the necessity by the growing pressure that is being put on civil society in places to the east of the Czech Republic. Meaning, we are seeing growing pressure through legislation with ever more curbs being put on NGOs and human rights defenders, for instance, in places such as Russia and Azerbaijan, and we think that this trend is of concern.

Radio Prague – New Czech-based civil society centre to help cultivate post-Soviet democracy.

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