During February 19-20, APE Executive Director, Natalia Stercul, participated in the Regional Conference for the Building Resilience for the Eastern Neighborhood (BREN), which took place in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

The first day began with a wonderful atmosphere when BREN grantees from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Georgia gathered in Chisinau for an event dedicated to the exchange of views and cooperation. Special thanks to Fern Horin, the British Ambassador to Moldova, for the exciting opening speech that set the tone for an eventful day. It was an honor for us to host such outstanding speakers as Alan Davis, Director of Asia and Eurasia at IWPR, and Katrina Leclerc, Program Director of the Global Network of Women Peacemakers.

The key moment was an exciting group discussion on „Intersectoral inclusivity”, which was started by the Honourable Betty Achan Ogwaro, Member of Parliament of South Sudan. During the discussion, innovative approaches were considered to involve marginalized communities in maintaining peace, promoting a sense of unity and mutual understanding.

The day ended with a lively „World Cafe”, which provided organizations with a dynamic platform to showcase their work, establish contacts and collaborate. The atmosphere was filled with excitement, ideas and networking opportunities, embodying the spirit of the BREN project.

During the World Cafe sessions, each BREN project shared successes and impacts with their fellow BREN partners through creative and informative booths. APE has arranged its booth into a welcoming space where it could showcase the progress of the project „Strengthening Civil Society’s Engagement Protection under New Hybrid Threats”, being involved in a rich exchange of ideas and collaboration among peers and guests.

The APE booth provided essential information about the organization itself and the process of the implementation of the project. The booth became a focal point for attendees eager to learn about the diverse approaches to safeguarding civil society amidst evolving geopolitical landscapes. It reflected the project general details, such as goals, the means of implementation, and noteworthy achievements. Moreover, the Executive Director of APE, Natalia Stercul, had shared her insights into the logistical part of the project implementation and information-sharing mechanisms, revealed her experience in the overcoming the challenges, and encouraged the colleagues to pay their attention to the problems emphasized in the framework of the project.

The second day was marked by a celebration of the achievements and influence achieved by small national and local civil society organizations in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova. These organizations, with the support of the BREN project, have been implementing various projects for five months, all of them working towards a common goal – improving human security, peace and stability for women and marginalized groups at the local, national and regional levels.

Reflecting on these two wonderful days, we express our gratitude to the Conflict, Stability and Security Foundation (CSSF), UK Government for their continued support in making the BREN project a reality. This initiative is being implemented in partnership with the Global Network of Women Peacemakers (GNWP), strengthening our commitment to creating positive change through collective efforts.

Looking forward to the future, we are full of anticipation for new amazing moments and collaborations that will undoubtedly result from the conference in BREN. Your dedication and passion for building resilience in the Eastern Neighbourhood is truly commendable, and we are excited about the ongoing impact we can achieve together.