At the online workshop titled "Effects of Pandemic on Civil Society" organized by Civil Pages on October 19, CSO representatives shared their level of influence from the pandemic, the difficulties they faced with and the ways they developed to combat them, and their solution suggestions.
Tuğçe Bahadır who is the Program Coordinator of BİRLİKTE: Local CSOs Institutional Support Program, which is supported by the European Union and executed by us, said that even though their team has an easier access to opportunities compared to other civil society organizations, STGM’s attitude during the pandemic was "how can we overcome this with the least damage?"
She stated that since BİRLİKTE is a capacity building program, it provides them with the flexibility to do revisions, and that most of the BİRLİKTE beneficiaries have shifted the monetary support that they received from the program to cover technology costs.
We Used Online Opportunities in Pandemic
Bahadır said that the new method that they found within the scope of BİRLİKTE program to reach the target audience was to host an online radio program 2 days a week, and that they used this radio program for both music and solidarity.
Bahadır explained that both the program beneficiaries and different people were the guests of the BİRLİKTE Radio, and said that the broadcasts were a source of motivation for the beneficiaries of BİRLİKTE during the period when the people had to stay home and the curfews and bans were in place due to the pandemic.
BİRLİKTE Beneficiaries Tackled the Pandemic Using Different Methods
At the workshop the experiences of civil society organizations in the pandemic and their solution suggestions for the problems were discussed. Tuğçe Bahadır stated that beneficiaries of BİRLİKTE were successful in finding solutions for the pandemic crisis and that they developed different solutions to the problems caused by the pandemic.
Bahadır said that their beneficiary Rengarenk Umutlar Derneği, which works with the children in Diyarbakır's Sur district, reached the children via teleconferences and whatsapp and continued its activities with new creative methods. She also mentioned another beneficiary in Tekirdağ, namely Tekirdağ Çiftlikönü Romanlar Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma Derneği, which managed to reach Romani people by going door to door despite the pandemic.
Bahadır emphasized that organizations such as the Rengarenk Umutlar Derneği, which is one of the beneficiaries of BİRLİKTE, “The organizations that include their components in their structure, know these components very well and have a very good access to the field” should be supported more, adding that inspiring ideas and examples come especially from organizations that continue to work actively in the field.
Bahadır said, "We and organizations have a lot to learn from each other in dealing with difficulties," adding that there is no other option but to have a closer relationship in the civil field and to have solidarity among civil society organizations.