"We work in Pol'ana region which is located right in the center of Slovakia. It has unique natural values and extraordinary potential for sustainable development. However, the region is poor, its economy is collapsing, and the young, educated people are leaving it. For us, the SGP program represents an important additional source of co-funding for our long-term, ambitious idea to make the region around the extended Vulkan Pol'ana independent of both imported and fossil energies. Building sustainable and intelligent energy sources based on local renewables may turn the region towards prosperity."
NGO SOSNA would like to establish an eco center as an example of a low-energy, healthy, and ecological building based on local sources. What is their motivation?
"We believe that the eco-center can attract people towards activities leading back to the nature and back to volunteerism. Support from the SGP will allow us to finalize our center and make it available to the public. We will organize courses, trainings and other practical activities to attract and disseminate ideas on how to decrease greenhouse emissions. We especially focus on young people because they are our future."
NGO Svatobor is preparing a project in biomass – "Let it be our fuel" in the village of Rudlov. Why have they included the Roma minority in the project?
"We believe that Roma are like roses. When they grow, everybody sees their thorns first. But if they are treated with respect and care, Roma - such as roses - will start to bloom after some time brining a unique beauty and fruits to society. The SGP grant can support one of the key development areas of our initiative, which is development of a so-called green economy. Our intention is the ecological use of biomass for heat production and water heating. This initiative can support at the same time the creation of working places for the long-term unemployed."
"The UN report identified Eastern Europe and Central Asia as the only region of the world to see a large decline in carbon emissions over the past 20 years, while also experiencing the greatest increase in income inequality. I consider SGP as one of the tools that can help stabilize this inequality, by creating green jobs with stable economic income for the countries in this region. Therefore, SGP is of high relevance in this region, relevant for both low and middle income countries. The exchange of information and knowledge is always both ways, less developed to more developed and vice versa. And each country can benefit."