How has the SGP benefited your organization and community?
"Our organization, the Romanian Association for Community Development, was formed in January 1999 as the first non-governmental organization dealing with community development. Our first projects were mainly focused on facilitating the organization of communities, changing their mentality and helping them to become informed partners of the localandcentral public authorities. Before the first meeting with SGP, environmental issues and community welfare were just occasionally approached by our organization, even if basic human resources for these aspects existed.
In 2007, the start of cooperation with SGP was a turning point for our organization. The programme strategy and objectives showed us how an integrated approach of environmental, social and economic aspects can lead to more effective actions with greater impact. There came years of hard, but rewarding work for our organization. We benefited from the beginning from the professional and unconditioned support of SGP staff. This support covered both technical and managerial aspects.
The support provided during the application process, as well as the open communication, close monitoring, continuous availability of the NC and PA to discuss problems, and the quick reply and the detailed justification for any decision during the implementation process, made the difference between SGP and any other donor. Another benefit for our organization consisted in the detailed training for the implementation and reporting we received from SGP. We received not only clear recommendations regarding SGP procedures, which are more flexible and less bureaucratic than many other Funding Programmes, but also key elements to be taken into consideration, which were also valid for another project we were implementing.
As a result, during the last five years, ARDC was involved as applicant, partner, advisor or just supporter in 21 projects covering five counties in the Southern part of Romania focusing on biodiversity conservation, climate change, sustainable land management and community development. We want to share this success with SGP, because without its support, all these projects would not have been possible! Thank you!"