Afghanistan, Africa and Lithuania's Foreign Ministry
- I spoke today with Virginija Umbrasiene of Lithuania's Foreign
Ministry. She leads the Programmes and Projects Division of the
Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Department.
I was glad to learn that Lithuania's Foreign Ministry would gladly
promote news of our good work through their website
http://www.orangeprojects.lt and also could endorse Minciu Sodas related
proposals that we might make to various funders or prospects.
Lithuania is a member of NATO, has troops in Afghanistan, and is leading
the development of Ghor province. This spring I submitted a proposal to
visit there, make contacts with independent thinkers, set up a
Sneakernet with the capital Kabul, and support some small projects,
about 100 euros each.
My goal is to earn money by applying my lab's resources to the difficult
challenges there. I am also interested to organize the widest variety
of independent thinkers.
I called to learn why my proposal was rejected and whether I should
submit a similar proposal in the future.
Virginija explained that this year funding was cut because of the
financial crisis. Ghor province, though safer than most of Afghanistan,
has security issues, and so this year they didn't send a single civilian
More fundamentally, Ghor province and Lithuania have agreed on a set of
infrastructure priorities such as roads and schools. Communications
with the central government in Kabul is not one of the priorities.
(Although the information I had earlier gotten from the Foreign
ministry's website indicated otherwise.)
We would have to make contact with the leaders of Ghor province and
convince them of our projects' worth, and then they would have to
communicate that to Lithuania's Foreign Ministry. That's not realistic.
However, Virginija did say that our work is well respected, including
the Pyramid of Peace http://www.pyramidofpeace.net and our projects in
She encouraged me that we write about our projects so they can publish
them at their website and blog http://www.orangeprojects.lt
I think this can be a good way to start working together and giving
exposure to some of our projects. Let me know if you're interested!
Lithuania's Foreign Ministry can also write letters of endorsement for
some of our proposals.
Virginija also mentioned several funds that we might consider. We can
explore the Afghanistan government's website:
and the websites of the embassies in Afghanistan of Canada, Sweden,
Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and other such countries:
She also alerts us to the European Development Fund which will be
working through the capitals of African countries:
Here's information about Kenya.
It's not clear how we can participate, if at all. It's surely a long
process. Virginija mentioned that there are small projects, for say,
100,000 euros. Perhaps with her help and that of others we can make
So this is good news which I share.
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