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In October 2014 EFA launched a brand-new own project called EFA Capacity Building Project aimed at bringing its members  into a position to contribute to run their own projects and organizations more effectively at national level while improving their ability to become involved in EFA projects.

Capacity Building Meeting in Florence

The first Capacity Building meeting took place in Florence, Italy (October 4-5), where EFA met FederASMA and ALLERGIE Onlus and 12 of its members active at local and regional level. FederASMA and Allergie Onlus is a non-profit organization, composed by 8 volunteers and 1 full time employee, involved since 1994 in the implementation of actions and activities aimed at protecting patients with asthma and allergies and their rights. The meeting started with a welcome from FederASMA and Allergie President, Monica De Simone, and with a personal introduction of all the participants (21 in total), who shared their experience as patients or as patients’ parents.

Capacity Building Project - Italy

Following FederASMA and Allergie need to identify new ways for funding their initiatives, the meeting reviewed four main issues: 1)      What are the main aspects for making a patient organization successful? EFA Fundraising and Project Manager, Antje Fink-Wagner, explained the pillars of an organisation, from the structure to the establishment of a workplan, from the partnerships to the communication tools. 2)      Who to identify supporters? Antje also briefed the audience on the identification and cultivation of fundraising opportunities from different types of donors. 3)      How to develop own projects? EFA Project Manager, Giuseppe De Carlo, worked together with the participants on the construction of a project proposal that could be successful for private funding 4)      What are the methods to develop an organisation membership base? Fundraising expert, Simona Biancu, explained the possible ways to attract, inspire, involve volunteers. The last part of the meeting consisted in an interesting discussion between FederASMA and Allergie Members and EFA on how to put in practice the suggestions provided during the day and on the expectations towards the collaboration with EFA, especially regarding the involvement in projects and the possibility to bring at European level some critical issues affecting patients with asthma and allergies in Italy. At the end of the second day, FederASMA and ALLERGIE representatives where so enthusiastic about the outcomes of the meeting that decided to stay few hours more in order to work internally on the definition of a working plan for the next year!   

Capacity Building Meeting in Vilnius

Capacity Building Project - Lithuania

On the 18th of October the second Capacity Building Projects meeting took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. EFA was represented by Fundraising and Project Antje Fink-Wagner, Project Manager Giuseppe De Carlo and Junior EU Policy Officer Jelena Malinina. The meeting was attended by 15 participants from 8 Lithuanian associations representing patients with airways diseases under the lead of Lina Bužermanienė – representative of EFA longstanding Member the Lithuanian Council of Asthma Clubs. The Lithuanian Council of Asthma Clubs unites 20 national association located all across Lithuania. During the event, EFA presented some recommendations for future developments in Lithuanian patients’ associations, as well as shared its expertise on fundraising possibilities and risks. During the second part of the event, participants had an opportunity to discuss internally all the work-related issues and to think of the prospective steps for capacity improvement. Through the meeting participants learnt on the potential financing sources and ways to raise money for the activities in case of absence of support from the government and/or business. Furthermore, the attendees mapped new ways to expand their impact on the national policies and explored new possibilities to improve patients’ quality of life. According to the preliminary analysis of the evaluation survey – the meeting was a success and could be considered as a significant step in Lithuanian airways diseases associations’ capacity increase. Next Capacity Building meeting will take place in Lisbon on November 15th. More information on the project will follow in the upcoming newsletters but for now we would like to take an opportunity and to thank all the participants for making this event a success!