Friday, 26 June 2015

News from the Slovenian Development NGO Platform SLOGA

Many events took place around the topics of cultural diversity, volunteerism and a new development agenda post-2015 over the past two months in Slovenia. The “Week of Africa” offered many occasions for intercultural dialogue, SLOGA promoted its work and visions at the “Happy Day of Volunteerism” in Ljubljana and organised a panel on »Post-2015 Development Agenda as a New Reality – Opportunities for Small States« before the official start of European Development Days in Brussels.

Week of Africa 
SLOGA organized in cooperation with various Slovenian NGOs and other institutions the Week of Africa, commemorating the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and the Africa Day. Various activities have taken place between 20 and 31 May. The Week of Africa started with a show called Diaspora*, that took place in the cultural center in Velenje. This show has taken the audience into the world of multiculturalism, in which we are witnessing both the beauties of diversity as well as intolerance and discrimination.
A panel titled “To live intercultural, a challenge or a problem?” was organized on 21 May, the day of intercultural dialogue, at Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. The panel was composed of Eyachew Tefera, president of the SLOGA Board, and Faila Pašić Bišić, ambassador of intercultural dialogue. Workshops on intercultural dialogue and the role and importance of human rights were conducted by the volunteers of the United Nations Association of Slovenia at the primary schools in Videm and Ptuj.
An intercultural evening was held by Slovene Philanthropy, spiced up by the a-capella gospel choir Bee Geesus, ambassador of the project of Humanitarian association ADRA Slovenia. The role of youth in intercultural environments was also tackled during the Week of Africa. So called ‘young global neighbors’ - young people originating from other countries but currently living in Slovenia – have presented their experiences in meeting with a new culture and their perception of multiculturalism.
Another colorful event contributed to the overall image of Week of Africa. A football tournament for peace and unity was organized on 24 May in Ljubljana. Aims of this traditional event are to strengthen the body and mind to overcome diversity, and the promotion of integration and social inclusion of vulnerable groups in society. The Week of Africa ended with international ‘global picnic’, which was escorted by a rich program and various workshops that were intended for individuals, families and particularly children.
The Week of Africa was coordinated by SLOGA platform in cooperation with Slovenian national commission for UNESCO and with financial contribution of European Commission.

Round table on partnerships and implementation of new development agenda 
SLOGA platform, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Brussels, organized a panel titled »Post-2015 Development Agenda as a New Reality – Opportunities for Small States« before the official start of European Development days. Panel was composed of H. E. Mr. Matjaž Šinkovec, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Cabo Verde, the African Union and Ambassador Designate to Ethiopia; assistant professor Dr. Draško Veselinovič, President of the Board of Slovenian Business and Research Association; and Mr. Eyacehew Tefera, President of SLOGA Board. Panel was moderated by Dr. Sabina Lange, lecturer at the European Institute of Public Administration – EIPA. Panelists talked about challenges and opportunities arising from new development agenda, priorities of Slovenia in the field of development cooperation and negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals, the opportunities for the private sector in the new development agenda and also the role of civil society in both implementation of the agenda as well as design of country’s priorities.

Happy Day of Volunteerism 
The Happy Day of Volunteerism took place in the centre of Ljubljana at Prešeren square on 9 June. Overarching slogan of the National Week of Volunteerism, organized by Slovene Philanthropy within which the Happy Day of Volunteerism took place, was “All generations, all colors, all knowledge. With love.” SLOGA took part in this event and promoted its work and vision, the work of its member organizations, and also launched the campaigns within two of its projects, Challenging the Crisis and You Too are a Global Neighbour.

Meeting with NGOs on the topic of human rights in Slovenian foreign policy 
On 4 June, SLOGA attended a meeting organized by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with NGOs on the topic of human rights in Slovenian foreign policy. The aim of the meeting was to include NGOs in the process of preparation for the 29th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.

In the photo: SLOGA stand at the Happy Day of Volunteerism.

Information provided by Adriana Aralica, SLOGA

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