Association for Local Democracy Agency (ALDA) is a European association dedicated to the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level in the European Union and all around the world. ALDA is a key stakeholder in the field of local democracy, active citizenship, and cooperation between local authorities and civil society. ALDA supports citizens and groups of citizens in their initiatives aimed at improving their local context, building bridges with local authorities in order to make the change real. In order to achieve its objectives, ALDA leads a wide range of actions supporting local, national and international stakeholders in achieving their goals in the fields of European integration, decentralisation, human rights, social inclusion, sustainable development, civic initiatives and much more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an integral part of ALDA’s work. They officially came into force on the 1st of January 2016 and they are outlined in the publication titled Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In order to achieve Agenda 2030, there are some principles that are relevant for ALDA, such as universality, inclusiveness and localisation. Thanks to this reason, SDGs became an integral and fundamental part of ALDA’s labour. Infact, ALDA’s initiatives aim at contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.
CERV is the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme of the European Union. This programme aims to protect and promote Union rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It will contribute to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law. ALDA has been recognized in the Framework Partnership Agreement of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme of the European Union for the period 2022-2025, as one of the 59 most active organisations that work to protect and promote Union values.
SAMA has become a member of ALDA in 2020 when we received a grant from Europe for Citizens fund for the STAR project. We share the same principles and objectives regarding social inclusion, integration, art as a tool for citizen participation, activities for the good of the whole community and much more.
Earlier this year - ALDA, under the umbrella of the Operating Grant funded by the CERV programme of the European Union, opened a call for proposals, targeted at supporting members organising actions improving their local context in order to make the change real! The call aimed at funding different types of activities: Awareness Raising Activities, Promotion and dissemination activities, Training and learning-by-doing activities, Mutual exchange events and activities, working groups, focus groups, Initiatives with Schools and Universities, Art related initiatives (Theatre, Film) etc. SAMA had submitted the program “ALL-INCLUSIVE – Connected in Dichtersbuurt” project and won!
Having been moving to SAMA's new location in Dichtersbuurt, our foundation has created a project “ALL INCLUSIVE – Connected in Dichtersbuurt”, in order to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Since this neighbourhood, where our new HQ and Community Lab will be located, has a high percentage of people with a non-Western migration background, and some of them are marginalised or elderly and live alone, SAMA’s effort is to reach and connect these different groups of residents, using street art as a tool. With this project, SAMA wants to get know the local residents of its new location and involve different disconnected vulnerable groups, in order to subsequently program activities together with the neighbourhood, that better meet their needs. In addition, the project focuses on involving neighbouring communities.
The ALDA Festival and General Assembly 2023 is a real 3-day Festival where colleagues, members and partners of ALDA will come together for fruitful exchanges on key EU priorities, sharing knowledge and best practices on themes such as migration, inclusion, gender equality, environmental protection, sustainable development and human rights, and take a moer active role in the Association. In collaboration with Sibbele from EigenWijks we have already worked out the program that will commence in July 2023.
As one of the winners of this prestigious regranting project, SAMA team was invited to attend ALDA's general assembly in Brussels.
The General Assembly and the Festival will take place from the 7th to the 9th of June 2023, at Etterbeek City Hall (Brussels), and SAMA will be present as one of ALDA's members. The assembly will be connected to a series of events and activities centred on the idea that Local democracy will save democracy. It will be an opportunity to review with the members and partners common policies and actions, and great opportunity to continue exchanging with the European institutions and partners on the matter, bringing to the spotlight experiences from the ground.
I cannot wait to share with you the up-date from Brussels!