Who are we?
The PONT Group is a Cluj-Napoca based young group, expert in local and regional development. Our non-profit organization is devoted to generate, implement and promote projects with the aim of contributing to the economic and social development of Romania and its regions. Although it initially started as an informal group of young people, who in 2001 launched the first website in Transylvania, which was dedicated to offer information about grants and scholarships in two languages: Romanian and Hungarian - PONT - Granturi.ro; Palyazatok.ro, the organization has acquired a legal personality only in the spring of 2009. The founders of the PONT Group and most of its active members were themselves active members of youth organizations at different levels, such as student organizations and professional organizations in the youth field. Besides implementing its own projects, our team members are constantly offering consultation and training to a large number of youth NGOs in their daily work, from helping to understand the process of accessing non-refundable founds to implementing sustainable and original projects.
Through its activities the PONT Group wishes to contribute to the development of Romanian rural and urban communities and to increase the number of active young people involved in these development processes. The PONT Group considers Romania, a full member of the European Union as having an important role in representing and developing Eastern Europe. Our projects aim to enhance the feeling of appartenance of young people to this region and to Europe, being aware and open to cultural differences and learning o build sustainable and strong networks.
What are we doing?
- creating a public information systems on local, regional and national institutional development opportunities: through our first project: GRANTURI.RO - PALYAZATOK.RO - PALYAZATOK.HU we have created a network of information and interaction about grant opportunities with over 8000 active members (75% of which is youth), covering two countries (Romania and Hungary). The ultimate objective for us is to create a network for Central and Eastern Europe, informing over 500 000 young people about internships, scholarships, exchange and grant opportunities, thus contributing to the increase of information on education and mobility opportunities for young people (granturi.ro; palyazatok.ro; palyazatok.hu)
- developing and implementing projects that contribute to the intersectorial collaboration for development: for example the CLUJ2020 INITIATIVE provides professional assistance needed to prepare Cluj-Napoca’s candidacy for the European Capital of Culture title. On this project the public and private sector is working closely together. (cluj2020.ro)
- our CASTLE IN TRANSYLVANIA project harnesses the economic and social potential of the many existing castles in Transylvania region by mobilizing support and action in different industries and sectors (kastelyerdelyben.ro)
- initiatives that contribute to professional and institutional networking: we aim to help create partnerships and professional networks (think-tanks) that gather experiences from different sectors, thus creating a synergy in solving problems and in the foundation of a sustainable local and regional development (Peninsula Park: park.peninsula.ro; The visible city - art in public spaces: altart.org/ orasulvizibil; Youth in Harghita 2020 - youth strategy building; etc.)
- activities of substantiating public policies and development strategies: with our project entitled TRANSYLVANIA 2015 we launched a debate about the development of Romania’s counties, municipalities and regions, not only on an active online platform, but also through a series of conferences, organized in four different region in the country (erdelykonferencia.ro)
- the Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 - Cluj -Napoca European Youth Capital in 2015 came alive as an initiative of the PONT Group, when at the beginning of 2011 the team contacted the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca and urged the city to apply for the title. Decision was made for an application for 2015. The PONT Group managed to access European funds through the Youth in Action Programme, Sub- Action 5.1 - Meetings of young people and those responsible for youth policy in order to finance activities and instruments for the preparation process. Cluj-Napoca was announced to win the title on Saturday, November 24, at Maribor, Slovenia. Since then, the PONT Group is actively involved in the preparation process of the European Youth Capital 2015 year, one of the first steps being the organizing of the Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 – starting the journey Conference on the 29th of January 2013. The aim of the conference was to share experience and talk about good practices in the implementation of a year-long youth programme, together with the leaders of youth NGOs, local authorities and stakeholders, Romanian national stakeholders and the representatives of other European Youth Capitals, who all participated at this conference.
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