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People in Peril Association: Humanitarian and development activities Jul 2005

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People in Peril Association was founded as a civic association in May 1999. Its main mission is to raise the public's awareness of human rights and development issues and to implement efficient and effective projects in support of people suffering consequences of conflicts, natural disasters and authoritarian regimes in lesser-fortune countries.
HUMANITARIAN AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

Education for Girls and Women in Rural Afghanistan

The first ever Slovak field office in Kabul was founded by People in Peril Association in order to establish a long-term development programs in support of girls and women in rural Afghan areas. Our first project strengthened the educational system in Afghanistan. A school for 450 girls and boys was built and opened in the region of Kapisa and 100 female teachers improved their teaching abilities via trainings provided by Afghan Women's Resource Center (AWRC), a PIPA's local partner.

The project reacts to the low educational level of Afghan women - only 21% of them possess skills of writing and reading while school enrolment rate amongst girls is no more than 30%.

Development activities in Afghanistan are financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CIDA under the Slovak Aid grant scheme.

Strengthening Capacity of Multiethnic Radio Stations in Kosovo

A development project supporting the multiethnic cohesion of young Kosovo's society was committed within the grant scheme of Bratislava-Belgrade Fund. The project is designed for strengthening capacity of 4 multiethnic radio stations. Milestones of the project:

1. Radio Kamenica broadcasting weekly educational programmes for youths in Albanian, Roma and Serbian language;

2. Radio K in Kosovo Polje enlarged its coverage to five new municipalities (it was facilitated with a 300W transmitter) and hired news correspondents to report on events in these regions;

3. Reporters of the Albanian Radio Mitrovica and the Serbian Kontakt Plus exchange daily news and reportages about the north and south parts of the town of Mitrovica, thus, it breaks down the information barrier between the Albanian and Serbian population of the town.

4. Representatives of each radio stations are enabled to attend on-the-job trainings in Slovak electronic media - radio Twist and radio Expres;

5. Slovak experts are counselling radio's staff on news management, media marketing and self-funding;

Exchange Experience between Slovak and Kosovo Media

12 Kosovo reporters and editors-in-chief participated into two rounds of seminars with Slovak media experts in February and November. Slovak media experts presented to their Kosovo colleagues the development of Slovak media for the last 15 years. Seminars enabled Kosovo participants learn more about transformation of media and their key role in the Slovak transition to market economy and democratic civil society.

Guest reporters and Slovak experts discussed professional themes regarding news management, radio programming and marketing. Special attention was given to the role of media in strengthening the public tolerance, multiethnic cohesion and adherence of human rights.

Kosovo participants: Radio K (Fushe Kosove/Kosovo Polje), Radio Kamenica (Kamenica), Radio Kontakt Plus (North Mitrovica), RTV Mitrovica (North Mitrovica), Radio Gjilani (Gjilan/Gnjilane), RTV Iliria (Viti/Vitina), Radio Gracanica (Gracanica). Slovak experts and hosting media: N-Radio Nitra, radio Twist, radio Expres, radio Okey, Fun radio, TV TA3, Slovak Radio, Trend, weekly economic magazine, and The Slovak Spectator, weekly English newspaper.

Seminars were financed by the Open Society Foundation, East-East Program.

SOS Iran

The organization reacted to the natural disaster in the Iranian town of Bam that was severely devastated by the violent earthquake in January 2004. An urgent assessment visit to the city was committed by Mr. Andrej Bán, the chairman of PIPA. He exhibited a charity photo exhibition in Kosice, Zvolen, Liptovský Mikulás and Bratislava.

Considering the assessment survey made, donations of € 4000 were allocated to the reconstruction of a two-storey building of the comprehensive school Asia Girls Guidance School. It is situated in the south neighbourhoods of Bam and is attended by girls in the age of 11-13.

Aid to Caucasus

Our organization provided a financial support of 100.000 SKK to Caucasus in reaction of the Beslan hostage tragedy. 50.000 SKK financed the physiological program for children who passed through the hostage tragedy in October 2004. Other 50.000 SKK supported the Chechen humanitarian mission of our Czech-based partner People in Need. The financial support was used for the mobile medical centre providing services to Chechen living in the refugee camps in Ingushetia.

SOS ASIA

SOS Asia, a public financial collection, is being taken at People in Peril Association, Slovakia. Raised funds are allocated for reconstruction projects in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Immediately after the disaster our organization provided 50.000 SKK to the team of Slovak rescue services in Sri Lanka. A wave of donations was going to tsunami relief and reconstruction efforts via SMS, postal money order, sealed cashboxes (in coming days) and on the bank account.

16.000.000 SKK or 421.053 EURO (464.000 USD) were raised and other 100.000 USD are donated from the SLOVAK AID program of MFA. Slovaks and local companies showed their solidarity with people who have been struck by a natural disaster that is without parallel.

Sri Lanka

As of February 2005, People in Peril Association implements a post-humanitarian project in Matara district in the south of Sri Lanka. People in Peril Association supported the production of 50 new boats considering needs of fishermen in the municipalities of Kudawella, Unakurawa a Mawella.

PIPA humanitarian workers distributed tools to 45 small craftsmen (masons, carpenters and mechanics and tailors, divers and etc.) in order to facilitate and re-establish their small businesses.

In April PIPA started building 50 houses for local people who was severely affected by tsunami. Part of the construction project is the establishment of a community centre for kids and young people.

Indonesia

As of March 2005 a partnership between local NGO INSIST, People in Peril Association and the Canadian Alternatives has been established in Indonesia in order to provide new development projects for the citizens of Aceh, Sumatra. The community based housing project will be financed by 4,5 million SKK, part of the SOS Asia charity collection.

Thank you to:

- SPP Foundation - financial donation: 3 million SKK

- Orange Slovakia - financial donation: 544.000 SKK and sms-collection: 5,5 million SKK

- Slovak Telecom - financial donation: 1 million SKK

- Slovenská sporite??a bank - financial donation: 500.000 SKK

- Ekopolis Foundation - financial donation: 200.000 SKK

- Program of the Official Slovak Development Aid - grant: 3 million SKK

- Children charity concert of 15 folklore dance groups of Bratislava and its region

- Day of Asia, a charity event of the Zilina-based NGOs - Naruc - Children in Risk and Truc sphérique

- Concert of 18 DJs in the Slovak town of Zilina

- Eating out Day for Victims of Tsunami, organized by the International Women Club in Bratislava

Humanitarian and Social Program for Elderly Roma

This project is part of the humanitarian and social program of the International Organization for Migration (IOM); PIPA is providing humanitarian support and alleviating needs of elderly Roma. Material aid, medicines, health services and material aid is provided to 1,500 elderly Roma in 100 settlements in Western Slovakia.

Support to Cuban Democratic Movements and Families of Imprisoned Dissidents

Through 2004 PIPA undertook a partnership project of the Czech People in Need including 4 study travels to Cuba in order to provide financial aid to families of imprisoned dissidents. PIPA and its Slovak partner, Pontis Foundation, organized a public collection, which yield of USD 5,185 was given as a financial support to 19 families.

As part of the 3 study visits PIPA's activists handed financial assistance with medicines to facilities and met various representatives of democratic movements and network of independent libraries in Cuba. On behalf of PIPA, László Nagy, MP, visited opposing Cuban leaders in February 2004 and expressed the official Slovak support to dissidents and their struggle for democratic changes.

Our association is providing literature and program papers concerning democratic changes and aspects of social and economic transformation in former communist countries. Papers should help Cuban opposing leaders gain knowledge and facilitate their work for democratic changes and programs.

RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS

One World Human Rights Film Festival

Over 11.000 visitors chose the Bratislava's One World festival and more 5000 visited its regional screenings in 11 Slovak towns. Over 2.000 kids watched docs and 1.500 youths participated into public discussions on human rights issues in Bratislava. The higher festival's turnout is an indicator for raised public interests and awareness of development issues and human rights.

One World Bratislava is a festival for those who would like to know that they have the right to know about people endangered by wars, ethnical and social conflicts, state repressions, discrimination and intolerance.

Spectators had a possibility to see over 64 films uncovering ordinary life and turbulent moments in more than 30 countries, such as Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Burma, Cuba, China, Russia, Israel, Palestine, Alger, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Cambodia, Mexico, Bosnia, Kosovo, Venezuela, Columbia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Iran and India. Except moving documentaries, visitors participated into 10 public forums. Guests of the discussions: Richard Dowden, Royal African Society in Great Britain; Marijana Toma, Humanitarian Law Centre, Serbia; Karin Jurschick, German Film Maker; Tanya Lokshina, Moscow Helsinki Group; Joachim Frank, International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights; Maciej Stasinski, Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.

Three exhibitions were presented: Wives and Mothers of Cuban Dissidents; Women of Iraq, Chechnya and Afghanistan, a collection of 21 photos by Iva Zimova and children's drawings in support of the building of one Afghan school.

Educational Campaign for Slovak Schools

The project "Panacik" or a symbolic figurine of freedom raised pupils' consciousness of human rights issues, tolerance and intercultural understanding. Children and youths of 256 schools developed their perceptions through studying issues of global and sustainable development.

This raising awareness and educational project was part of our post-humanitarian activities in Afghanistan, thus, we focused on problems of Afghan children and poor educational conditions.

The interactive teaching methods, including work with texts, quizzes, pictures' stories and comparative knowledge helped pupils realise how to take part in the global social responsibility for peacekeeping and rebuilding processes in countries, where people suffer negative impacts of wars.

Some pupils organized culture events, school fairs and exhibitions of artistic and artisan works in order to raise money for the construction of one school in Kapisa, rural Afghanistan.

Raising awareness of EU's policy towards migration, human rights and development issues

A series of public discussions and publication promoted values of human rights, humanitarian aid and migration issues within the EU policy. Discussions and a brochure depicted issues of humanitarian and development aid policies within the Union, thus, it contributed directly to the Slovakia's integration in EU.

Internet magazine MONITOR

The e-magazine MONITOR (www.clovekvohrozeni.sk/monitor) promoted human rights and development issues all round the year. Contributions concerned events and important issues from various regions: Asia, Middle East, Caucasus, the Balkans and Turkey, Latin America, east Europe. MONITOR is focused on gender issues, migration, human rights, foreign policy within human rights and development aid frame.

HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECTS

International Conference Supporting Democracy in Cuba

Solidarity and political support to Cuban democratic movements and individuals were expressed by Slovak politics and MPs at the Bratislava's International Conference for Support of Democracy in Cuba, September 20. Guests: Carlos Alberto Montaner, writer in exile; Marcos Aguinis, Argentinean writer; Patricio Walker, MPs from Chile; Frank Calzón, Centre for a Free Cuba; Javier de Céspedes, Directorio Democrático Cubano and etc. Current positive Slovak attitudes towards Cuban democratic movements and struggles for economic and political changes were raised by Pavel Hrusovský, chairman of the National Council of SR, Ján Fige?, Commissioner for Culture in the European Commission; Member of the ICDC, Jószef Berényi, state secretary in MFA and Lászlo Nagy, chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of the National Council of SR. Discussion panels aimed to the coordination of the international support towards Cuban democrats and framed the Slovak involvement in Cuban democratic efforts.

Evening dedicated to imprisoned Cuban activists

On occasion of the March 2003 mass imprisonments of 75 Cuban democratic activists, we organized a pubic meeting to remind the Slovak public that civil and democratic freedoms in Cuba are still in danger. Young people discussed the social and economic situation on the island with Mr. Lászlo Nagy, chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of the National Council of SR.