Participants in Nicaragua at the conference for women.

February 23-27, 2012 a seminar for Latin American women was arranged in Montelimar, Nicaragua by the jarl Hjalmarson Foundation. The subject was empowerment of women in politics. 45 participnats from El Salvador (ARENA), Guatemala (PU), Nicaragua (PC), Panamá (CD), Dominican Republic (FNP) and Paraguay (MDR) were trained by Azalia Avilés, Vicepresident of IWDU, Maria José Argaña, Ex Minister for the Women in Paraguay, Cristina Aguiar, Vice Minister for the Department of Human Rights at the Foreign Minister in the Dominican Republic, Vilma de Fröhlich, Consuler of the Central American Bank of Economic Integration and Javier Loaiza, Director of the Political School Tomás Moro in Colombia. (more…)

The target audience of the Foundation in Latin America is decision-makers on all levels in society, but youths and women are especially notable. The Jarl Hjalmarsson Foundation is educating female decision-makers in order to strengthen their role in society. By boosting their capacity and ambition, the Foundation encourages them to take part more actively in political life, with the end-result that democracy is strengthened regionally.

The Foundation’s focus on female politicians was initially resisted by numerous of its cooperative parties which were dominated by men. However, the Foundation stood its ground, always keeping the superordinate goal of democracy in mind, and a series of educations for women was started. (more…)

Representatives of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation recently visited Bosnia to initiate an evaluation process of all projects on the Balkans managed by the Foundation. How does the cooperation work? What effects, if any, have been reached? What might be done in a different way? Following two days of meetings and discussions the conclusion was obvious: members of the PDP are convinced that the cooperation with the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation is a positive force on numerous levels.

Close to the border between Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina lies the village Gradiška. The houses along the main street look like houses in any village in Central- and Southern Europe. That is, if it wasn’t for the bullet holes that serve a reminder that this village is not like any other village. This was recently a war zone. From 1992 to 1995, this part of Europe was haunted by a civil war between Serbs, Muslims and Croats, a war ended with the Dayton agreement. The conflict in Bosnia started with the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, with the result that more than 250 000 people were killed and 1.6 million were forced to leave their homes. Still today the memories of the war are part of everyday life in the constituent republic of Srpska and its capital Banja Luka. (more…)

The restoration of democracy in Estonia, after the Soviet occupation had ended in 1991, was to become the pilot project of the newly established Jarl Hjalmarsson Foundation. In Estonia, the Foundation tried out, for the first time, its concept of development aid based solely on knowledge transfer and networking between parties in different countries.

Conference with the PPU's women's organization

Cooperation was established with the conservative liberal party Pro Patria Union (PPU). The party’s youth organisation was part of the project from the start and later the women’s organisation would also be involved.

Initially, knowledge transfer in terms of political handiwork and the structuring of party organisations was the most pressing matter. Later, education would focus on such topics as campaign strategy and techniques, the ideas of democracy and market economy, networking, media management and finally governmental work. The Foundation also helped to introduce the PPU on the European scene by mediating contacts with the European Democrat Union (EDU) and the European People’s Party (EPP). EU and NATO membership was high on the agenda. (more…)