Successfully fighting for a government measure improving the lives of tens of thousands of people looking after their sick relatives at home. Humanely getting rid of stray dogs terrorizing a housing estate. Demolition of a derelict building, and finding a solution to the housing problem of its inhabitants. Making the metro barrier free, stopping evictions, and saving plenty of trees. It is impossible to enumerate what can be achieved through grassroots initiatives that work using community organizing methods. Indeed, on can hardly assess all that our communities have achieved during a one-year program supported by the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), but we will nevertheless give it a try in the form of this publication. And, of course, the above examples are all outcomes of our extremely fruitful 2017–18 program year.
Besides our issues won, we also present our struggles, minor and major achievements, or even failures, to demonstrate that there is no greater power — or should we say willpower — than that those directly affected by an issue can exhibit. Given the necessary financial and professional support, they can achieve almost anything. Our communities presented, their efforts and successes can be inspirational for anyone who feels they are part of a minority or are members or supporters of vulnerable groups, but also for those simply wanting to make their closer/broader environment more livable. We do not aim to present the depths of our community organizing approach or the uniqueness and complexity of our methods, but to prove that community action and advocacy can be powerful and successful even against the greatest of headwinds. Civil College Foundation Staff