Since the beginning of June, the Civil Society Resource Centre started offering free use of the Zoom platform. Unlike the free version of this platform, through the CSRC account, the associations have the opportunity for unlimited online meetings, as well as their recording and live broadcast. By the end of October this service has been used 79 times and continues to be one of the most requested service.
Ilija Stankovski, from the association “Leaders for Education, Activism and Development”, says that the free-of-charge use of the Zoom platform is a great help for their organisation for smooth implementation of activities and easier adaptation to the new way of working. “We sincerely hope that this opportunity will be available to as many CSOs as possible in the future, as it is an important resource in the digital way of working” he added.
According to Marina Tosheska, Local Action Group “Agro Leader”, the main contribution of the Civil Society Resource Center is to provide an environment in which associations can uninterruptedly, easily and safely hold their trainings, workshops, conferences and meetings. Igor Stojkov, from the Youth Club of the Foundation “Focus” from Veles, emphasized that this service is especially welcome for young people in CSOs that already function mainly in cyberspace.
However, despite the great popularity of the online communication tool, not all CSOs and their beneficiaries had prior knowledge of its proper use. Therefore, the CSRC team provided adequate support to the organisations before and during the events. “Not only does CSRC schedule a Zoom space, but it provides all the support the organisation needs to explain to participants how to join; what are the possibilities of the platform; what, when and how it is used, including a whole guide for the organisers and the participants of the event” – says Liljana Jonoski from the Rural Coalition for her cooperation with the CSRC team.
The Civil Society Resource Centre will continue to offer the free service in the coming period as it is obvious that there is great interest and need, especially from the associations that cannot allocate funds to open their own account on the Zoom platform. In this way, CSOs will continue to promote civic activism and be the bearers of positive change in the society.