Since 2013, EHRN in coordination with ENPUD developed and has been implementing an innovative small grants program “Through Peers’ Efforts.” In 2013 and 2014, through a grant competition, organizations and groups of PUD and OST program clients from 10 countries (Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine) received 18 small grants with a total value of €58,390 for the period of two years funded by the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund and МАС AIDS Fund. On top of that, in 2014 13 organizations from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova and Tajikistan received small grants with a total value of €111,259, funded by the Global Fund. In 2014, the small grant program for PUD “Through Peers’ Efforts – 2” aimed at PUD community-led human rights advocacy, assessing and monitoring PUD access to harm reduction services and enabling PUD community mobilization.
Thus in total in 2013-2014, through EHRN’s small grants program “Through Peers’ Efforts” €169,649 were allocated for the implementation of community lead projects by 27 organizations and groups of PUD and OST program clients in 10 countries of the region.
Graph 1а shows that since early 2013 until the end of 2014, the number of grants issued increased by 3.5 times and the number of countries participating in the program grew also. The total amount of grants increased by 5.5 times (primarily due to the Global Fund’s contribution).
Graph 1b shows that over half of the grants issued were directed at assessing whether the harm reduction services and OST programs meet the needs of PUD, and another 25% - at protection of women’s rights. The rest of the grants were used to document and combat human rights violations, to mobilize and build the capacity of PUD groups.
The small grants program plays an important role in building the capacity of PUD communities. By helping protect the lives and health of people, community activists also acquire skills in project management, communication and advocacy. As with many other tools that we develop and use, the small grants program is a model that can be used to expand PUD activism throughout CEECA. This is how our partnership with PUD groups and the donors of the small grants program helps solve our region’s problems.