BEARR Trust/ULIM Moldova Conference on Migration

Our International conference on Migration and Social Change in Eastern Europe, in Chisinau on 11-12 April 2019 at the Free International University of Moldova

BEARR’s annual conference in London attracts speakers and participants from across the region, including from Moldova. In addition, we have a new strategy of holding occasional conferences in other countries of the region: Chisinau 2019 follows on from Lviv 2016. It has been a great pleasure to work in partnership with the Free International University of Moldova – ULIM, to develop the theme and content of this conference, which covers many aspects of the impact of migration.

We are very grateful to the United Nations Development Program and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for supporting this conference.

Nicola Ramsden
Chairman, The BEARR Trust

Conference Theme

The theme of the conference is ‘Migration and Social Change in Eastern Europe’, and its primary subject was the impact of migration on the health and social welfare of children, adolescents and older people. We also considered some beneficial consequences of migration – such as remittances – and looked at positive ideas for encouraging working-age people not to migrate.

Conference Purpose

The purpose of the conference was to improve the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to help address health and welfare issues and to implement solutions. This reflects the aims of The BEARR Trust, a UK charity that supports vulnerable people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The design of the conference drew on the approach developed over 28 years by The BEARR Trust, which organises an annual conference on health and welfare themes in London and occasional regional conferences.

Conference Format

  • A participative 2-day forum where CSO representatives can learn from each other’s experiences and make contacts leading to more effective networks.
  • A ‘donor fair’ where CSOs could meet international donor organisations.
  • Scene-setting keynote speeches by academics and policy experts to provide a rigorous framework of data and common knowledge within which further discussions can take place.
  • A day of practical training for CSOs through ‘know-how’ workshops designed to improve their management and effectiveness. Workshops covered research and analysis, fundraising, networking, attracting and working with volunteers, and working with the media.

Conference Follow-up

The BEARR Trust publishes reports on its website and in its newsletters. To promote continued networking, participants are welcome to share their contact details with BEARR’s Directory of Non-Governmental Organisations. Participants are also welcome to put forward themes for BEARR’s Small Grants Scheme, which helps CSOs to try out innovative ideas on a small scale.

Conference Outcome

This was a really successful conference at ULIM in Chisinau, Moldova. We discussed many aspects of the social impact of migration for work, and heard about both positive and negative aspects of this global trend.
We heard case studies from Russia, Italy and the UK, on efforts to bring the benefits of migration back into communities in the home country, and had parallel workshops on fundraising and impact evaluation, working with the media, attracting volunteers and setting up a business. There was a well-supported donor fair on the second day. We made many new contacts and discovered much potential for future work.

There is much to build on in terms of NGO capacity-building, and networking began from the very start and will continue!

To read the report on the conference, written by Petru Negura of ULIM, click here.

Our warmest thanks to our colleagues at ULIM for their hard work to make sure it all happened!

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