Decision of the Bureau: 18.COM 1.BUR 3.2

The Bureau,

  1. Recalling Article 23 of the Convention as well as Chapter I.4 of the Operational Directives relating to the eligibility and criteria of International Assistance requests,
  2. Having examined document LHE/23/18.COM 1.BUR/3 as well as International Assistance request no. 02074 submitted by Romania,
  3. Takes note that Romania has requested International Assistance for the project entitled Community-based teaching and learning of Ukraine’s living heritage in Romania:

To be implemented by the Asociatia Serviciul Iezuitilor pentru Refugiati din Romania (JRS Romania), this fourteen-month project aims at safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of Ukrainian communities temporarily displaced in Romania and seeks to raise awareness of the important role of living heritage in supporting the resilience of these communities and encouraging social cohesion. The project is based on the outcomes of the UNESCO project ‘Assessing the needs of living heritage safeguarding among displaced communities from Ukraine in five neighbouring countries: Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia’ implemented in 2022. The main activity involves the organization of a series of workshops on Ukrainian living heritage practices, such as traditional cuisine, handicrafts and performing folk arts, targeting displaced children and youth. The workshops will be facilitated by displaced Ukrainians with a cultural and/or educational background who will be recruited through the project and receive training from a team of intangible cultural heritage experts. In addition to the workshops, the project activities include raising awareness about the project’s scope and objectives, recruiting and training workshop facilitators, designing workshop curricula, and developing a related handbook and travelling exhibition to be hosted by several Romanian cultural institutions. Aligned with Ukraine’s National Recovery Plan, the project is expected to create job opportunities for workshop facilitators in the cultural sector in Romania or Ukraine. Moreover, it will generate discussions about Ukrainian intangible cultural heritage and encourage cooperation and the exchange of best practices among civil society organizations, cultural institutions, experts, and private and State services.

  1. Further takes note that this assistance aims to support a project implemented at the national level, in accordance with Article 20 (c) of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the provision of a grant, pursuant to Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
  2. Also takes note that Romania has requested assistance in the amount of US$99,886 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of this project;
  3. Decides that, from the information provided in file no. 02074, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting International Assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:

Criterion A.1: The needs assessment supported by UNESCO in Romania in 2022 ensured the active participation of the community during the project design phase, which involved multiple stakeholders. Furthermore, the project represents a community-based approach for transmitting Ukrainian intangible cultural heritage across generations. The project implementation will involve the Ukrainian communities, groups and individuals temporarily displaced in Romania at every stage. Moreover, the project will benefit from the participation of local branches of the Union of Ukrainians in Romania, an organization that implements various cultural projects to safeguard and promote Ukrainian culture, especially Ukrainian intangible cultural heritage.

Criterion A.2: The budget is presented in a structured manner, with a clear breakdown of the planned activities and related expenses. The requested amount of assistance may therefore be considered appropriate for the implementation of the proposed activities.

Criterion A.3: The project proposes a logical sequence of activities, including capacity building, designing the curricula for each workshop based on the Ukrainian folk calendar, assessing project progress with trainers and beneficiaries and conducting various awareness-raising actions. The proposed activities correspond to the objectives and expected results outlined in the request and appear to be feasible within the proposed project duration.

Criterion A.4: The involvement of various stakeholders, such as experts, representatives of local cultural institutions, representatives of refugee centres, educational institutions, and local and central government, is a crucial factor in ensuring the sustainability of the project’s results. During the project, the trained facilitators will receive both theoretical information and practical tools, making them well-equipped to become involved in safeguarding initiatives, either in Romania or in Ukraine. Furthermore, during the project design process, other international organizations announced their support for any Ukrainian-related initiative, further reinforcing the sustainability of the project’s outcomes.

Criterion A.5: The submitting State Party will contribute 5 percent of the total amount of the project budget (US$104,686). Consequently, International Assistance is requested from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the remaining 95 per cent of the total amount of the project budget.

Criterion A.6: The project has a clear focus on building the capacities of communities and other stakeholders concerned. One of the most important activities is the recruitment of facilitators from the displaced Ukrainian communities to participate in the workshops, taking place over 8 months. In addition, a 5-day capacity-building workshop will be organized, where intangible cultural heritage experts and educational consultants will teach, further strengthening the recruited facilitators’ teaching and transmission skills. Moreover, through the training and other project activities, participants will have the opportunity to share their specific customs and cultural practices, exchange their local experiences with others.

Criterion A.7: The State Party has not previously received any financial assistance from UNESCO under the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund of the 2003 Convention to implement similar or related activities in the field of intangible cultural heritage.

Paragraph 10(a): The project is national in scope and its implementation involves national and local partners. However, to harmonize safeguarding efforts with Ukraine, the steering committee will seek constant feedback from Ukrainian intangible cultural heritage experts and facilitators based in Ukraine.

Paragraph 10(b): The promotion and dissemination of the project’s objectives and results, interlinked with other project activities, will ensure the multiplier effects of the project. The workshop facilitators will be able to apply and further enhance their newly acquired skills either in Romania or in Ukraine. In Romania, they can continue to showcase and teach issues related to intangible cultural heritage at specific events and interactive workshops, such as craft fairs, which are organized on a regular basis by various Romanian entities, including museums, county cultural centres, associations of craftspeople, among others. The project aims to publish the handbook in both Ukrainian and English, making it possible to adapt and implement similar curricula in other communities of displaced persons seeking to safeguard their intangible cultural heritage across generations.

  1. Approves the International Assistance request from Romania for the project entitled Community-based teaching and learning of Ukraine’s living heritage in Romania and grants the amount of US$99,886 to the State Party for this purpose;
  2. Commends the State Party for its initiative to submit an emergency request that benefits Ukrainian displaced communities in Romania;
  3. Encourages the State Party to share its experiences and project outcomes with the international community upon the completion of the project;
  4. Requests that the Secretariat reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to ensuring that the budget and work plan of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund are detailed and specific enough to provide sufficient justification of the expenditures;
  5. Invites the State Party to use Form ICH-04-Report to report on the use of the assistance granted.