The RITA – “Region in Transition” Program is primarily a grant-making program which delivers comprehensive support for international cooperation, ranging from preparing conceptual project frameworks and establishing project partnerships, through financing best initiatives, to ongoing informational assistance and competence support for our beneficiares.

We also organise workshops, meetings, e-learning courses, as well as support the exchange of information between Polish activists and beneficiaries from participating states. We maintain constant contact with project implementers by sharing advice, knowledge and experience.

The RITA program is currently being operated in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia countries. Co-financing is available for partnership projects of Polish organisations and their partners from Program states.

The RITA program is about:

  • supporting democratic, social and economic transformation in the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia,
  • transferring the Polish transition experience in social and social security issues, education and upbringing, development of entrepreneurship, cultural heritage, development and support of non-governmental sector, development and support of local self-government, development of independent and modern media,
  • developing international cooperation in the region,
  • shaping new leaders who will drive the development of democracy, market economy and civil society.

How to benefit from the Program?

Under the RITA program, Polish non-governmental organisations are entitled to apply for co-financing of partnership projects, co-funding of larger initiatives (so-called own contribution) and travel grants. In order to implement such projects, Polish organisations are required to team up with a partner operating in a Program state.

Projects co-financed under RITA should contribute to the introduction of long-lasting democratic, social and economic changes in participating states, involve the sharing of Polish experience and ought to concern the following areas:

  • social and social security issues;
  • education and upbringing;
  • development of entrepreneurship;
  • cultural heritage;
  • development and support of non-governmental sector;
  • development and support of local self-government;
  • development of independent and modern media.

Moreover, the Program also foresees training activities:

  • representatives of NGOs which operate in Program states are invited to participate in e-learning courses and workshops,
  • Polish NGO representatives can participate in competence-building workshops, including trainer courses and preparatory training in project planning and international project implementation,
  • teachers from Eastern European states are encouraged to participate in a wide range of e-learning courses intended for improving the quality of their every-day work,
  • teachers can participate in workshops preparing them for international school exchange programs and establishing cooperation between Polish and Eastern European (mainly Ukrainian) schools – the so-called “school matchmaker”.

More information on current calls for applications, training timetables and locations is available at the Education for Democracy Foundation website.

The RITA program, initiated in 2000, is an initiative of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, and has from the very outset been implemented by the Education for Democracy Foundation. The Program stemmed from the assumption that the Polish experience of transformation is worth sharing. Poland succeeded in introducing changes to numerous walks of its social, economic and political life. Thanks to the RITA Program, Poland’s transformation has for 15 years served as an example (yet by no means as a model!) for transition in the region

We would like to encourage all interested parties to read the publications summing up programme achievements as at its 5th and 10th anniversary. These papers contain descriptions of projects executed from 2000 to 2010.

Since the year 2000, by providing financial support of a total of almost PLN 37 million, we enabled the implementation of 1030 projects.