EU staff fund: €180,000 disbursed to 11 organisations

In the spring of last year, the EU Staff for Climate team behind the EU Staff COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund – Bruno, Elena, Minna and Nikos – decided that it was time to shift to longer-term action to promote a recovery based on the principles of fairness and sustainability. The EU Staff Fund for a Fair and Sustainable Future was born.

In the spring of 2022, we set up an additional special fundraiser to enable EU staff to collectively support the people of Ukraine through the humanitarian emergency caused by Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine.

Christmas campaign funds disbursed for support during cost-of-living crisis

We ran a successful Christmas campaign in December and January, during which EU staff generously donated 115,000 euros.Working together with the King Baudouin Foundation, we identified 11 projects in 6 different countries to support. We awarded 3 grants for Ukraine and 8 for the general fund, for a total of just over 180,000 euros.

Increased energy prices and their consequences on the livelihoods of vulnerable people were our primary concern and we were able to identify valuable projects addressing energy poverty, as well as access to food and water, and social inclusion. As usual, environmental sustainability was one of our key criteria to award our support, and the projects we funded are a clear example that working towards social justice and environmental protection is not only possible but can be of much higher value to our beneficiaries.

Raising awareness about impactful home insulation in Bulgaria

During our latest round of donations, we disbursed 19,712 euros to the Bulgarian organisation Za Zemiata.

Za Zemiata’s project will focus on energy efficiency in energy-poor areas of Bulgaria, namely the Central Balkan Tryavna municipality and the towns of Galabovo and Dimitrovgrad. These communities have been affected by coalmine closures and their inhabitants breathe in polluted air due to old coal power plants, which are the only source of energy in the area.

There is a lot of misinformation about insulation, which leads to homeowners prioritising spending thousands on wrongly insulating the external walls of their homes with environmentally unfriendly materials before insulating their attics, which would be a more cost-effective option with a much more tangible climate impact.

Za Zemiata will work directly with 500 households to make them aware of the issues related to energy efficiency and train them on how to insulate their homes correctly.

The organisation will tour the project area, making presentations and creating “energy brigades” with volunteers who will demonstrate and directly support families living in energy poverty (mostly single-parent families with multiple children and pensioners) to take action to use energy more efficiently. In addition, Za Zemiata will also engage local multipliers who will make energy-efficient improvements to their homes and share their experiences with others.

Supporting teenagers’ mental health in Ukraine

We disbursed 19,800 euros to the Zaporuka Foundation, which has been providing high-quality psychological support to families with children affected by cancer for the past 15 years. With the outbreak of the Russian war of aggression, the foundation has directed its resources to offer similar support to people affected by the war.

The foundation already provides counselling and a telephone hotline. However, they noticed that their current services were not suitable for teenagers, who prefer different ways of communicating. The war only having exacerbated their already turbulent emotions and deepened their problems, 27% of the teenagers surveyed by the foundation said that they needed professional help to cope.

To address this issue, the Zaporuka Foundation is developing an online platform dedicated to providing psychological support to teenagers. This platform will serve as a valuable resource for mental health information for at least 200 teenagers each month: it will include self-help materials, psychological tests and a chat bot answering typical questions. Each month, the platform will connect at least 100 teenagers with professional psychologists for further online and offline sessions.

Organisations supported this spring:

EU Staff Fund for a Fair and Sustainable Future

  • Le Panier Solidaire (Belgium)
  • Maison de Fragnée (Belgium)
  • Mamagea Environmental Organisation (Greece)
  • Za Zemiata (Bulgaria)
  • Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (Bulgaria)
  • Health and Social Development Foundation (Bulgaria)
  • VšĮ Būk su manimi (Lithuania)
  • The Timok Club (Serbia)

Special fundraiser for the people of Ukraine

  • Roma Human Rights Center
  • Zaporuka Foundation
  • Drop of Blood

How to support the fund

You can set up a monthly donation or give once to the EU Staff Fund for a Fair and Sustainable Future here. If you would prefer to do this through your bank, you can find the bank details here. You can support the special fundraiser for the people of Ukraine here (the bank details for the fundraiser are at the end of this page).