The Lydia Project began in response to requests from women in post-communist countries, who wanted to establish community work which had been forbidden until this time. The inspiration of the Lydia Project has been the courage, imagination and determination of the women in new democracies, working and planning projects to help desperately needy people, who may be excluded by new economic and social structures. The Lydia Project has come a long way since its pilot project in 1995-6, training women from a wide cross-section of East European countries, how to set up and run new community work. Today we reach and support groups all over Europe.
Over twenty years of training, developing best practice, inspiration and support, setting up projects, and sharing, we developed links and work with new non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in eighteen different countries: Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.
Women develop each project or programme for their local community, seeking support and resources, in order to help those in need. Training programmes have empowered them to write clear project proposals with realistic budgets in order to achieve their goals.
Facilitators and team members have come from east and west - from as far away as Hawaii and as close as former programme participants. Passing on experience and empowering women to improve their own communities is at the heart of everything we do.