The Association of Youth Committed to Humanitarian Action (Togo), the European Center for Addiction Prevention (Romania), Active Women for Environmental Protection (DRC) and RIO (Norway), become associate members of Dianova International
As an NGO, or any other third-sector actors, Dianova International is integrated into a system in which it is mandatory to interact with other institutions, as would any other socio-economic actor. Thus, all NGOs are competing with their counterparts, in, for example, seeking funding or attracting human resources. Within a third sector that is becoming more dense and more complex with every passing year, it is a normal, healthy situation.
On the other hand, when the objective of an organization is to bring about necessary policy changes to improve a particular situation or problem, it is worth co-operating with others in order to have a greater voice. In addition, associating with like-minded entities provides mutual enrichment through cultural diversity and knowledge and best practice exchanges.
For the past three years, the Dianova network has embarked on a policy designed to opening up to associate members. This policy has enabled Dianova International to welcome eight new members, four of whom have integrated the network at the organization’s general assembly held on June 12th, 2017.
The aim of this article is to introduce the organizations that have become associate members of Dianova International, along with Drustvo Up (Slovenia), the Slum Child Foundation (Kenya), Ray of Hope (Pakistan) and SPYM (India).
“I’ve been attending Dianova International annual meetings for five years and I’m very pleased to see our network become stronger and more connected every passing year, and I was also very pleased with the exchanges between all the delegates” – Robin Turk (Drustvo Up)
Association of Youth Committed to Humanitarian Action (AJEAH – Togo)
The AJEAH was established in Togo in 2014; it is recognized as an NGO by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization. The association has seven employees and ten volunteers committed to promoting and defending human rights, while focusing on the development of local communities, access to natural resources and environment protection.
Among other objectives, AJEAH is dedicated to:
- Promoting local development while combating poverty and food insecurity in rural areas,
- Developing education and health in local communities,
- Promoting human rights and participatory democracy through education,
- Improving exchanges between local communities and to raising awareness of environment protection needs,
- Raising awareness among communities of the need to address children’s sexual exploitation and HIV/AIDS.
Contact: Amathévi Aboki, Executive Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
“Dianova is a good network, made of different people and professionals doing different work all over the world. This is a perfect place to do networking and learn about possible development in the future.” George Odalo Ochieng (Slum Child Foundation)
European Center for Addiction Prevention (CEPA – Romania)
As its name suggests, CEPA aims to promote and implement drug prevention initiatives. The center also participates in the evaluation of public policies and wishes to change the view of Romanian society on addiction and public health issues while encouraging healthier lifestyles.
Among other activities, CEPA implements:
- Projects that aim to promote healthier lifestyles through school-based addiction and HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives,
- Actions destined to promote the role of NGOs and intersectional cooperation in the addiction and public health fields, with support from the media,
- Psychosocial support programmes for former inmates,
- Advocacy initiatives to defend the inmate population’s human rights (national campaign),
CEPA’s various initiatives in the areas of prevention, awareness-raising and social support are implemented in partnership with the Drugs National Agency and within the various schools and penal institutions in Bucharest, the country’s capital city. In addition, the center has gained experience through partnerships with the private sector and develops advocacy campaigns at the national level.
“Joining the Dianova network is an important step for CEPA because we are now involved in an international perspective. I was also very pleased to meet with all Dianova delegates and to benefit from their experience. I think I will learn greatly from every one of them” – Ramona Tole
Active Women for Environmental Protection (FAPE – Democratic Republic of Congo)
FAPE was established in 2004 in Mboko, in DRC’s South Kivu Province, as a non-political, non-profit organization. FAPE is committed to women’s rights, with the aim of making Congolese women self-reliant, free and independent, capable of defending their own rights as well as their children’s rights while engaging in self-care and community development.
Among other objectives, FAPE is committed to:
- Combating the degradation of ecosystems
- Developing women’s entrepreneurship to ensure vulnerable households’ food security,
- Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS-related issues and to combating all forms of violence against women and children,
- Promoting gender equality and women’s and children’s rights,
- Reinforcing access to health care and education for women and children.
FAPE has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at raising awareness of sexual and gender-based violence, in collaboration with other NGOs and with the participation of Mboko schools and military and religious authorities. In addition, FAPE has supported the social and economic integration of some of the most vulnerable women in Mboko, as well as their children’s access to school through training initiatives, livestock donations and provision of school fees.
Contact: Zawadi Nawenga – coordinator – email@example.com
Interest Organization for Substance Misusers – RIO (Norway)
RIO is a recovery-oriented advocacy group created in 1996 and solely consisting of former substance abusers. The organization is integrated in the Norwegian network of addiction care, and as such is often engaged in political debates. Since its modest beginnings, RIO has grown and matured to become a professional organization with 15 employees and many volunteers across Norway. The central activity of RIO is to influence politicians, bureaucrats and professionals to create better services aiming at the social reintegration of substance abusers and to provide the conditions for their success. RIO has become a political reference in Norway.
- Participation in user committees and working and management groups in the addiction field,
- Participation and advocacy within municipalities, hospitals, regional health authorities and ministries,
- Participation and advocacy within various public/private projects and committees: user-oriented measures, guidelines, project planning, preparation of information manuals, etc.,
- Training and teaching in the addiction field on a variety of topics: user participation, patient care, motivation and resistance, parental perspective, social housing, addiction and mental health, abstinence and harm reduction, addiction and criminality, etc.
In addition to its core advocacy activities, RIO develops various projects including an annual sports event, a research project on Hepatitis C and other projects such as described below:
RIO ReStart – ReStart is rehabilitation project for people having undergone a treatment programme or ex-inmates wanting to achieve lasting abstinence, employment and a decent life. The project takes place in the tranquil environment and beautiful surroundings of the Bragdøya island and involves five days of compulsory participation per week in various training activities: restoration of buildings and boats, maintenance of the island’s hiking trails, carpentry and mechanics workshops, etc. The programme is complemented by a variety of personal development activities.
Kafe X – Kafe X is low threshold, drug-free café dedicated to providing substance abusers with a safe social environment, as well as a pleasant place to join in activities and meet people while sipping a hot drink free of charge. Since its opening in 2004, the café has become an important focal point of the rehabilitation work carried out in the city of Tromsø.
“I enjoyed the General Assembly very much; it was interesting to hear the different perspectives in an international context and I feel that our NGO was welcome ” – Kenneth Arctander (RIO)