Empowerment for Dialogue

To contribute to the reinforcement of peaceful communication and respect for human rights in conflict zones, it is crucial to support civil society activists who are ready to engage in dialogue. Our training- and mentoring-programe in five cities of the district of Luhansk supported locals in restoring trust and communication across different lines of conflict within society. The trauma-sensitive training sessions facilitated networking and organizing, self-reflection and empathy, coping with stress, non-violent communication, and self-empowerment.

Project duration: March to December 2019
Partner organisation: Vostok SOS
Sponsor: German Foreign Office
Total funding sum: 80,000 Euro

Exhibition „WAR NEXT DOOR“ & German translation of the graphic novel “Crossroads”

Within the framework of a German-Ukrainian encounter project, we developed an interactive exhibition together with young adults. The exhibition invites visitors to let the pictures from the graphic novel “Crossroads” affect on themselves, to get in touch with the protagonists of the stories and to get about the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

On May 23, 2019 the vernissage of the exhibition and the presentation of the German translation of the graphic novel “Crossroads” took place at the Mohr-Villa in Munich. The format, designed as a touring exhibition, consists of eleven magnetic roll-ups with nine different themes and can be booked on request.

Project duration: March to June 2019
Partner organisation: TolerSpace
Sponsor: Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (programme „MEET UP! Deutsch-ukrainische Jugendbegegnungen“)
Total funding sum: 26,700 Euro

Homeless people and the right to housing in Belarus

As part of a joint initiative, the report “Homeless people and the right to housing in Belarus” was prepared by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee in cooperation with Human Constanta (Belarus) and Libereco (Switzerland). The report is the first comprehensive document to show how the rights of homeless people in Belarus are being violated or their exercise is being hindered.

To complement the report, an online map of assistance to the homeless and several videos presenting civil society activists working for the homeless have been published.

Links: to the project website and an online map (in Russian), to th report, to the videos
Project duration: July 2018 to May 2019
Partner organisations: Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Human Constanta
Sponsors: The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Human Rights Fund of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Total funding sum: 15,000 Euro

German-Ukrainian training of knowledge multipliers

Together with the Ukrainian educational centre TolerSpace, we invited ten young adults to a German-Ukrainian training course for multipliers. The events took place in Berlin, Hadiach and Kyiv in autumn and winter 2018.

The programme was divided into two parts: The participants got to know methods of human rights education, biographical approaches and approaches of visualization. The focus was on a graphic novel and how it can be used in an educational framework. We developed a didactic guideline for the graphic novel “Crossroads”, which we developed in 2017.

Project duration: September to December 2018
Partner organisation: TolerSpace
Sponsor: Stiftung Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (programme „MEET UP! Deutsch-ukrainische Jugendbegegnungen“)
Total funding sum: 17,000 Euro

Narrating the Conflict – graphic novel “Crossroads”

In 2017, a team of civil society activists from Ukraine created a comic strip about the war in Eastern Ukraine. Artist Serhij Zacharov and illustrator Sophia Runova translated the stories artistically.

The stories are based on biographical interviews with nine different people whose everyday life was and is disturbed by the war in different ways. They deal with fears and hardships, decisions and hopes. They show what a military conflict can mean for people, how it sets steps and changes lives. The graphic novel was published in Ukrainian and Russian at the end of 2017.

Link: “Crossroads” – a graphic novel about war and violence
Project duration:
March to December 2017
Partner organisations: Koalition „Justice for Peace in Donbas“, East-Ukrainian Center for Civic Initiatives
Sponsor: German Foreign Office
Total funding sum: 62,500 Euro

Teaching Repression a Lesson

Toegether with the Belarusian Human Rights Center Viasna and the Belarusian Students Association (BSA) we launched the international campaign “Teaching repression a lesson” in support of expelled students in Belarus. Through online petitions, presentation and videos filmed by Libereco in Belarus we call upon the Belarusian Minister of Education and rectors of key Belarusian universities to readmit students that were expelled for political reasons.

Links: to the campaign, to the videos
Project duration: April 2017 to December 2017
Partner organisations: Belarusian Students’ Association, Viasna Human Rights Centre
Sponsor: MitOst
Total funding sum: 600 Euro

Belarus Votes 2016

As we did for the presidential elections in 2015, we organised a journalistic election observation project for the Belarusian parliamentary election held in September 2016. This time, a three-member editorial board guided 12 young journalists from Belarus, Poland and Germany during the project in Minsk. Before the research and writing in Belarus, we held 10 days of preparatory workshops in Berlin and Vilnius. On the ground in Belarus, we covered the election and the political situation for a period of ten days.

Link: belarus-votes.lphr.org
Project duration: June 2016 to November 2016
Partner organisations: Fundacja Wspólna Europa, StudAlliance, Election Observation: Theory & Practice
Sponsors: Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, German Federal Agency for Civic Education, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Total funding sum: 23,000 Euro

Analysis: 100 Days of Belarusian Rule of Law

With our in depth analysis, we showed hat repressions in Belarus increased since the EU lifted its sanctions. Friday 3 June 2016 marked 100 days since the EU abandoned its sanctions against Belarus, suggesting that a process of liberalisation in the authoritarian state merits such a decision. However, on the basis of the monitoring of Belarusian organisation Viasna, we showed that the country is still far removed from rule of law and respect for human rights. Repression has become less visible, but in several respects the pressure on civil society has been heightened. The significantly increased use of fines against peaceful protesters and the state’s intensified application of the death penalty, contradict the European Union’s softening attitude towards Aliaksandr Lukashenka´s regime.

Links: The report and info-graphics, Download the PDF of analysis in English and in German
Project duration: February 2016 to September 2016
Partner organisations: Viasna Human Rights Centre
Sponsors and funding: none

Belarus Votes: 2015 Election Blog

In 2015, a 15-member editorial team reported about the presidential election in Belarus on the 11th of October. Therefore, students, young journalists and election observers from Belarus, Germany and Poland travelled to Belarus to deliver a wide range of reports and authentic stories from on the ground.

Link: belarus-votes.lphr.org/
Project duration: June 2015 to November 2015
Partner organisations: Fundacja Wspólna Europa, StudAlliance, Election Observation: Theory & Practice
Sponsors: Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, MitOst, International Visegrad Fund
Total funding sum: 19,500 Euro

Belarus Barcamp

In March 2014, more than 70 young Belarusians and Germans met in Werningerode for a first-of-its-kind networking meeting. All participants had been actively involved in organizations and campaigns working on and in Belarus. The Belarus Barcamp 2014 offered thematic workshops, trainings and plenty of possibilities to exchange views on practical issues about voluntary work. The main goal of the Belarus Barcamp was to deepen existing partnerships as well as establishing an extensive network of Belarus-focussed initiatives in German-speaking countries. Moreover, partners developed new project ideas.

Project duration: June 2013 to April 2014
Partner organisations: several other German initiatives concerning Belarus
Sponsor: The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Total funding sum: 18,500 Euro

Exhibition and brochure “Human Rights and Civil Society in Belarus”

In cooperation with four partner organisations, Libereco has created a travelling exhibition and a brochure (in German, English and Russian), in which we presented the tenous situation of human rights in Belarus on the one hand and the existing manyfold actions and engagement oft the local civil society on the other hand. The exhibition took place amongst others in Dresden, Cologne, Bonn, Zurich and Gießen.

Download of the brochure: in German, in English, in Russian
Project duration: January 2011 to May 2013
Partner organisations: Amnesty International, Kultur Aktiv, Bund für Soziale Verteidigung, Deutsch-Belarussische Gesellschaft
Sponsor: The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Total funding sum: 8,000 Euro