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Frontpage News 2012 \"Bus to Democracy\"

PL NGO Fund film.JPG

\"Bus to Democracy\"

  • The Polish €41.5 million NGO fund, supported by a €37.5 million grant from Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, has released a short film to showcase its progress made in promoting democracy and civil society in Poland.

    Appearing in the film, Mohamed-Zanussi-Bah, bus driver in Warsaw, said: "There are some people who don't like other people's clothes, hairstyle or skin colour. They might not like it. There are such people. But there are many people in the world."

    Directed by award winning documentary maker Cezary Ciszewski, the short film 'Bus to Democracy' portrays some of the individuals whose lives have been touched by the Polish NGO fund. The film was made on behalf of fund operator Co-operation Fund Foundation, and features examples of projects that have received financial support under the focus area 'democracy and civil society'. While the community of Orelec saved its school in dire need of renovation from closure, Warsaw high school students have taken part both in a campaign attacking xenophobia, racism and discrimination and in complimentary drama and theater workshops.

    According to Bartosz Mielecki of the the Co-operation Fund Foundation, the film 'Bus to democracy' presents a small picture of the wide spectrum of projects supported under the Polish NGO Fund. "In a fun way, the film inspires individuals and civil society organisations to act. Everybody is invited to hop on the bus and contribute towards strenghtening democracy and civil society", he said.

    A boost for civil society

    The €41.5 million NGO Fund in Poland is the largest of the 18 NGO funds supported under the EEA and Norway Grants. Since the fund was launched in April 2007, around 3800 applications have been submitted for NGO projects, and the fund is set to support more than 500 projects in the coming years.

    Due to the considerable size and scope of the Polish NGO fund, the three focus areas are managed by two organisations with ties to civil society and the areas of intervention. The Co-operation Fund Foundation is responsible for the focus area of democracy and civil society. Environmental protection and sustainable development as well as equal opportunities and social integration are managed by Ecorys.

    "Looking at the number of applications we have received, you can see that the NGO sector was waiting for an opportunity like this. The establishment of these funds was so important and so necessary for them," Bartosz Mielecki, fund coordinator for the component for democracy and civil society, said. Rafal Szakalinis, fund coordinator at ECORYS Polska, echoed this: "Although funding opportunities for the Polish NGO community exist, these funds are unique in both size and duration," he said.

    • For further information on the Polish NGO fund: click here.
    • For more information on the Polish NGO Fund and its supported activities, see the fund's web page.


  • Country:


    Project title:

    Fund for Non-governmental Organisations under the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, priority area: Environmental protection and sustainable development

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    NGO funds


    € 37,500,000



    Type & project assistance:

    NGO Fund

    Project promoter:

    \"Co-operation Fund\" Foundation and ECORYS Polska

    Type of institution:

    Block grant intermediaries

    Project duration:

    57 months

    Project cost:

    € 13,833,333

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA and Norway Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    23 February 2007

    The purpose of the Fund is the support of NGOs aiming to contribute to building public understanding at local and regional levels, in both urban and rural settings, of the need for environmental sustainability and generating opportunities for citizen action and involvement. The overall objective is ensuring participation of NGOs in the reduction of social and economic disparities within the EEA, increasing the role of civil society in Poland, and promoting bilateral relations between Poland and the donor states. This Fund forms a part (one of three) of the NGO Fund in Poland. Reference is made to the application dated 19 December 2006, further information from the Focal Point dated 10 January 2007, the Terms of Reference for the NGO Fund Intermediary procurement procedure approved by the donors on 28 September 2006, the NGO Fund: Framework Document published with the tender announcement for the NGO Fund Intermediary procurement procedure, as well as the results of the procurement procedure approved by the Tender Committee on 1 December 2006.

    The completed Fund shall include the following activities and results:

    - grants to NGOs;

    - management costs;

    The Intermediary is Ecorys Polska Sp. z o.o.

    The Focal Point shall provide at least 10 percent of the estimated eligible Fund cost.