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Frontpage News 2008 Grants awarded to 31 Estonian NGOs

Grants awarded to 31 Estonian NGOs

Estonia's €2.3 million NGO Fund concluded its second call for NGO projects in July, awarding €400,000 in grants to 31 NGO projects.

A total of 145 applications were submitted in response to the second open call under the Estonian €2.3 million NGO Fund. The largest number of project proposals came under the focus area for social integration and local development, counting for 25 percent of the available grants under the NGO Fund.

NGO Fund coordinator Maris Jõgeva related the significant demand for grants within the focus area for social integration to the challenges facing Estonia's social sphere and attempts by NGOs to play part in tackling these issues. According to Jõgeva, NGOs can provide support to activities such as care giving to family members, comprehensive integration of people with special needs, and towards the protection of children's rights.

The projects to receive grants under the second call include efforts to encourage volunteer work in Estonia, activities aimed at involving people with special needs within policy-making, spreading knowledge about organic farming and reviving Estonian cinema culture in rural areas.

One third of the submitted proposals were applications that had been further developed following rejection in the fund's first call. "Consultations with applicants and feedback that was given to projects after the first open call are now bearing fruits, as 17 among the 31 supported projects are applications that were further developed according to feedback from the fund's first project round," Jõgeva said.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway support the Estonian NGO fund with €2.1 million, with the Estonian government providing the remaining ten percent of the fund. Over the coming three years small-scale grants will be provided to Estonian NGOs and social partners within the focus areas democracy and civil society, environment and sustainable development, and social integration and local development. A total six calls will be held under the fund, and the third open call has a deadline in September this year.

# Descriptions of the supported projects are available at the web page of fund manager Open Estonia Foundation.