Courage Romania / Curaj Înainte believes that when freedom slips, we need to build a better future. From Romania to the Republic of Moldova and now to Ukraine, we defend European values through intelligent activism and education, taking a strategic view of world affairs and civil society engagement.
About This Cause
Curaj Inainte (translated as Courage Forward, but we chose Courage Romania) is a Romanian NGO dedicated to democratic principles and European values. We support intelligent projects, in various fields that bring Romanians closer through technology and educate on the need for freedom with the responsibilities arising from this right. We started in 2017 with the mission to unite a sprawling Romanian diaspora through common insight and information. We incorporated in 2018, and we continued to develop projects, mainly on education. We strive to be a leader in Romanian civil society. In 2022, given our belief that freedom is indivisible, we joined the free world in offering relief and support to the embattled people of Ukraine.
OUR RESPONSE TO THE WAR IN UKRAINE
We travelled to the border in the first days of the invasion and helped with
food, blankets, hygiene products and helped set up one of the first refugee
camps. We reached out (successfully) to national authorities over
improvements and continue to monitor conditions at the border.
We set up a small warehouse and sent help to other border crossings in Romania. Over the coming week, we also helped with delivering hundreds of kg of resources to the border and beyond (raincoats, medicine etc.).
We organized ourselves as an information hub in Bucharest and work 24/7 as a small intelligence center for refugees. We got people from the US to Ukraine, from Ukraine to Berlin and from Romania back to Ukraine. We find accomodation and transportation to whoever requests it.
We kickstarted the opening of a local refugee center in Bucharest and reached out to authorities for better coordination b/w institutions. We paid forward some of our donations to local news sources in Ukraine, UN
refugee funds for girls and women, exfiltration from Kyiv and to Moldovan NGO's helping with refugee relief.
We developed Telegram channels (https://t.me/ivnucraina) with sources safe from fake-news for domestic audiences and English language coverage for the conflict in Ukraine.
We are in constant contact with partners from all over the world over an information and intelligence hub for volunteers.
> Continue regional intelligence gathering and help with RO/MD refugee relief
> Help and support for national corridors & procedures
> Continue to provide direct and indirect aid to refugees, from donations
> Travel, wherever and whenever needed with aid, as well as for observing best practices (i.e. MD)
> Continue social media activism
OUR WORK IN ROMANIA
2022: zDemocracy – funded through Active Citizen's Fund (Norway, Lichtenstein & Iceland), we take civic education and online literacy courses to five high schools in Romania's poorer regions, while developing a national interactive fiction course called demoFIT. Funding: 93.302,40 Euro – zdemocracy.ro
2021: Political Practice – with the help of the University of Bucharest, the School of Political Science, we invite counsellors and political advisors to teach and talk to students about life and work in politics. We also continued to support the national vaccination efforts. The course was so successful, we will continue it in 2022. Funding: own sources, volunteers.
2020: We renounced all donations and constantly supported other NGO’s fighting covid, while communicating on social media regarding vaccination.
2019: The Electoral Telegraph project challenged the minds of young people who were going to vote for the first time in national elections. The project was carried out with the financial support of the Civic Innovation Fund, in partnership with the Romanian-American Foundation. Funding: 34.000 Euro. - https://bit.ly/3Cj9xd9
2018: We used simple tools to create Acum stiu (Now I know), a Telegram channel where anyone can check on curated local and international stories, free from fake news. Funding: own sources, volunteers. - https://t.me/acumstiu
Throughout the past years, we have also held and financed several events, ones with cultural significance, others in line with our educational drive, such as debates on fake news and meetings with youth to better assess their needs, in a complex and internet-driven society.