Awareness and education
We inform about and introduce contemporary development problems, connect individuals and organizations, and open public discussions in Slovenia and countries of the Global South:
- by raising awareness about development problems through the web portal and other electronic and printed media;
- by organising, moderating and participating in discussions, round tables and other meetings addressing issues of global development, with emphasis on migration, gender equality and environment;
- through creating the space for partnerships, without which sustainable and equitable development can not be achieved.
We encourage the activation of individuals to find lasting solutions to development issues:
- through training and educating, aimed at achieving more equitable and sustainable societies in Slovenia and countries of the Global South;
- by raising awareness about alternative and equitable patterns of behavior through the web portal and other electronic and printed media;
- by encouraging active participation of individuals in searching for development solutions with the use of gamefication and other creative approaches.
We are exploring and searching for alternative ways of functioning of individuals, organisations and systems:
- by carrying out research that addresses issues of global development, with the emphasis on migration, gender equality and the environment;
- by exploring the functioning of the development cooperation and humanitarian assistance systems with the aim of achieving better results in both areas.
FER monitors policies and goals at national and global levels, and formulates proposals that strive for a more equitable, just and sustainable functioning of the international community. It actively participates in the co-shaping of international development cooperation and humanitarian assistance related policies in Slovenia and internationally. Our work is directed at proposing and improving legal and other acts, and other strategic documents. In order to achieve this, FER is engaged in the following activities:
- developing policy proposals to improve the environment for non-governmental organizations in the fields of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance;
- developing policy proposals for the regulation of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance in Slovenia;
- developing policy proposals in the fields of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance at the levels of EU, OECD, UN and in partner countries;
- strengthening the dialogue with the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, ministries and other relevant institutions in Slovenia;
- strengthening the dialogue with institutions at the EU and international levels;
- participating and being active in international formal and informal networks.
Thematic priority areas:
– Gender equality;
More food and equality, less crises
According to the World Bank, climate change in Uganda represent a real threat to poverty eradication in Uganda. Extreme weather events are on the rise and they have a negative impact on agriculture and food security. The constant influx of refugees represents an additional increase in the population, which is in Uganda constantly on the rise, which by itself represents additional pressure on the environment and farm land. Refugees are to a large extent dependent on humanitarian assistance, but it is mainly refugees in settlements that receive such assistance. Urban refugees in Ndejje and Kampala are not beneficiaries of this kind of assistance. According to FAO, in times of humanitarian crises, lack of food security and poverty the incidence of gender based violence increases. SGBV in the first place influences women in their reproductive age, their physical and psychological wellbeing, but it also threatens their ability for economic independence, and contributes to the vicious cycle of poverty. If the mentioned issues would not be addressed, there is a serious threat of acute malnutrition, increased SGBV, higher poverty levels in Ndejje and Kampala.
FER cooperates with refugee-led organization in Uganda Hope for Children and Women Victims of Violence (HOCW). Our common goal is to increase resilience to crises and food security and water for at least 500 families (3200 persons) in Ndejje and Kampala. The project enable beneficiaries to grow local vegetables, cow, hen and fish rearing, which is a highly nutritious combination. We will also provide them with drinking water. Beneficiaries will be educated on integrated farming and will consequently increase their yields, as well as the capacity to adapt to climate change. This will redude the level of crises, which will, together with raised awareness and better medical assistance of the consequence of SGBV, reduce violence against girls and women.
Tackling the root causes of discrimination against women in Albania
In the process of accessing the EU, Albania is passing legislature on the topic of gender equality in order to ensure a higher level of equity. Nevertheless, in its transition, the traditional and patriarchal norms are gaining in importance. This is especially present in the rural areas, such as Prrenjas in Devoll. Traditional norms limit the right to movement – for example, if high schools cannot be found in the village, this can influence the right of girls to continue with their education, which also influences their opportunities to find work. The limited right to movement on its own keeps women in the private sphere, where every second woman is a victim of gender-based violence. As keepers of the home and the family, women are in charge of water and waste management, but because of gender roles have no influence on management and decision-making about water and waste management at the communal levels. The traditional norms despite good new laws prevent progress in the field of gender equality, that is why the issue needs to be addressed at the root causes: values, norms and informal laws. In order to change them it is essential to work with youth, who are more susceptible to change. In parallel, it is necessary to promote the realisation of progressive laws and practices among decision-makers and local authorities, as the subordinate role of women has clear negative consequences for economic and social progress, as well as environmental protection.
FER cooperates with Balkan Center for Cooperation and Develoment (BCCD). The project aims at eliminating the root causes of discrimination against girls and women in Prrenjas and Devoll, due to which they do not have full access to their rights in both the private and public spheres. The norms and values are responsible for keeping the women in a subordinate position, which also negatively influences the economic and social progress of the municipalities. The project will address societal inequalities through the 4 SIGI dimensions. Through the same 4 dimensions, the reasons for discrimination against girls and women, the lack of information for women about waste management, and for better access for girls and women to safe, inclusive and green public spaces. To achieve that, youth trainers will be trained, who will then transfer their knowledge within their respective municipalities. Decision makers at local and national levels will be informed and their awareness will be raised with the aim of ensuring gender mainstreaming into new laws, as well as with the implementation of already existing ones.
Empowerment of Women in Albania to Ensure Equal Opportunities
The project goal is to increase economic independence of women in Puka and to improve position of women in the Albanian society. The project focuses on overcoming uneven distribution of powers between men and women in Albania. 20 unemployed women in the rural municipality of Puka will be introduced and initiated into goat farming process and thus given an opportunity to become self-sufficient by providing them the conditions for, trainingson rearing, processing and marketing of products. In cooperation with a local expert on agriculture and goat farming, it has been estimated that 2 goats per woman are required for the success of the project. Women has been chosen based on the following criteria: interest, experiences, unemployment status or revenue of women and their families . The chosen women will take part in several trainings and mentorships, which will enable them to start successful rearing as well as efficient product sales. For now, women operate as a unit within the partner organization Gender Alliance for Development Centre (GADC), later on, after the development phase, they will establish a cooperative/social enterprise.
The work with young girls and boys is also intended to impact power redistribution within the society. We plan on educating 20 local leaders on gender equality in Puka and Roskovac province as well as in Tirana, providing them with tools for further empowerment of youth in their local environment so they could together tackle power imbalances between men and women. Local leaders will be young people who want to be included and are active in youth activities. Our partner organization the GDAC will ensure that local needs and circumstances are taken into account, in cooperation with Alenka Verbole who previously served as senior expert on gender equality within the OSCE. The project will empower GDAC and its local branch, while supporting strategic functioning, networking and increased membership.
Increased food and drinking water security among refugees and local population in Uganda despite humanitarian crises
FER cooperates with refugee-led organization in Uganda Hope for Children and Women Victims of Violence (HOCW). Our goal is to increase resilience to crisis as well as food and water security for at least 400 people in Ndejje. The project helps strengthen the resilience of the refugee and also local populations of Ndejje in Uganda (near the capital Kampala), mostly women who chronically suffer from being provided with basic nutritional needs due to ever longer periods of drought. The project enable them to grow local vegetables and hen rearing, which is a highly nutritious combination. We will provide them with drinking water, raise their awareness on dietary requirements and preventive actions to fight climate change and related natural disasters, while stressing the importance of women in this regard. The local agriculture organization is involved as a consultant, since it applies a very efficient agricultural approach for achieving food security in response to climate change – Climate Smart Agriculture, promoted by FAO. This approach sustainably increases the productivity of farms, adapts and strengthens resilience to climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We believe this is the way to achieve sustainable food and water supply for the populations while increase resilience towards crises.
Escape and flight
FER developed an outdoor educational game in order to bring refugee stories closer to the youth of Slovenia. The project makes beneficiaries understand the realities of refugees and the reasons for their flight, which changes them from “the unknown and to be feared of” into something they can relate to and thus accept. Two approaches were used: 1) “the identifiable victim effect”, which relies on the fact that a specific person is easier to empathize with than a number, thus stimulating positive feelings towards refugees, 2) “gamification” approach, whereby game principles and elements are used in a non-game context. The 1,5 hours journey is an outdoor version of the “escape room”. The challenges that participants are facing on their journey are based on a true flight of a refugee that traveled from Afghanistan to Ljubljana in a time period of 4 months. All escape experiences end in a lively discussion with the so-called game keeper, during which the details of the game are discussed. Participants also watch short interview with Ayene, a refugee from South Sudan, that talks about the long and dangerous road from South Sudan, first to Egypt and Israel, and later to Uganda. Through the conversation, the participants are aware of the connection between their escape and the flight of a real refugee. Based on conversations with the players, short scenes from the escape game, and conversations with refugees, a video Escape and flight was created that aims at changing thinking patterns on the refugee crisis among the broader public. We’ve conducted interviews with refugees in Slovenia and Uganda to show their lives, their personal stories and their fears. The use of videos is a powerful tool to raise awareness. They entertain, educate and inspire. The combination of moving images, music, text and voice-over has the potential to transmit a lot of information and simultaneously convey and stir emotions. This is the reason we decided to choose the medium of video to bring refugees closer to people.