13.12.2002 | Evhen Zakharov, the Kharkov Group for human rights protection

Entre nous, activists


In the beginning of January the Kharkov Group for human rights protection received a letter from the Center of innovations and development, which informed about the restoration of the informational program for NGOs. The program envisages the publication of the weekly informational digest, magazine ’Perekhrestia’, magazine ’Bukhgalter NPO’ (’NGO accountant’) and the Internet-portal ’Tretiy sektor’ (’The third sector’), which would contain electronic versions of all publications, legislative base and have various additional functions: discussions, voting, etc. It seemed that we, their colleagues, must be happy. Yet, all this appeared to be not free of charge. All organizations, who would like to receive the information, had to contribute the entrance fee not less than 50 UAH (the approximate costs were published). Using the site costs 20 UAH per three months, magazines – 10 UAH for every issue (5 UAH by e-mail), digest – 50 kopecks for an issue (19 kopecks by e-mail). Distribution of texts of laws, description of grant programs, application forms, publications, blanks of financial reports costs 50 kopecks for one page (30 kopecks by e-mail). The price of one fax page is 60 kopecks (30 kopecks in the Kyiv oblast and 10 kopecks in the city of Kyiv). The first issue of the digest ’The third sector’ appended to the letter contained the rubrics ’Law and NGOs’, ’Grants’, ’Events: What? Where? When?’, ’Accountancy’, ’Questions and answers’ and ’Jobs’. The same information also was twice received by e-mail.

So, we have a precedent, when one NGO tries to get money from other NGOs for the consultations, editions, information about grants, etc. Are these actions correct? It would be normal in the countries, where NGOs have the right to earn money, although from the moral point of view the trade with information concerning grants looks, mildly speaking, queer. What6 concerns our country, where NGOs have no right to sell anything, this is rancid nonsense. One may understand their wish to get remuneration for some work, for example, publishing, the more so that sponsors’ donations frequently do not cover all the expenses. But I cannot understand the wish to get money for the information placed gratis on sites. I am sure that charity founds that hand out grants will also be not enthusiastic about this. Who are possible consumers? I think that the intended consumers are those NGOs, which have no access to the Internet and cannot get the information by themselves. I believe that these practices only bring shame upon the Center of innovations and development and the Ukrainian third sector as a whole. I think that the Center must stop such activities. Or change their registration and become an informational agency.

The mentioned information is rather senseless. For example, let us consider the advertisement about the competition of the British organization Allavida, which was published in the first issue of the digest. Having visited the site of the organization, one can learn that it administers the grants of Charity Know How Fund, that the second round of the competition will be held, that the deadline for handing claims is 27 August, and it is impossible to compile the claim without the attentive studying of Guideline and Application Form. Moreover, these lengthy documents, 17 and 8 pages, respectively, contain a lot of details, to understand which one must turn to Allavida or to the fund. Nothing of the sort is said in the advertisement of the Center of innovations and development, as well as about the priorities of the competitions. Yet, the Center promises to send 10 pages in English (the information about the competition and the application form, although it is needed, I repeat, 25 pages) for a separate pay. This means that one will pay money and get nothing.

I recommend to those, who want to take part in the competition, to visit the site and to get the information by themselves. Those, who have no access to the Internet, must turn to Allavida by the e-mail address and to request the information about the competition, guide and the application form. I am sure that all this will be obtained gratis. By the way the advertisement about this competition published in the 86th issue of the electronic bulletin of the Resource center of the development of public organizations ’Gurt’ is complete and free of charge.

The Resource center of the development of public organizations ’Gurt’ is placed at the address:

вул. Бiлоруська, 8, офiс 10, Киiв, 04050, Украiна
Tel./fax: (38 044) 213 98 04

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