Slovenia's Development and Humanitarian Assistance in Culture
Article 9 of the 2006 International Development Cooperation Act stipulates that international development cooperation also comprises cultural cooperation and donations to cultural institutions in developing countries. The 2008 Resolution on International Development Cooperation of the Republic of Slovenia until 2015 defines cooperation in science and technology, including the establishment of integrated library information systems and research information systems to support education and research, as well as cultural, technological and economic development, as Slovenia’s thematic priorities in international development cooperation.
In 2010, Slovenia co-financed the organisation of a competition between Bosnian- Herzegovinian secondary schools, aimed at promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding, and the announcement of the winners (the authors of the project "Sajam sličnosti" – "Fair of Resemblance") at the conference of the Alliance of Civilizations in Sarajevo on 13 and 14 December. In Montenegro, Slovenia co-financed the equipment for the library of the Historical Institute. In Serbia, Slovenia co-financed a multiethnic performance entitled "Ti i ja smo mi" ("You and I are We"), given by secondary school students from the south of Serbia and aimed at promoting coexistence and cooperation between different nationalities. The Slovenian ministries of foreign affairs and defence organised a five-day prize trip for Bosnian-Herzegovinian secondary school students who took part in a EUFOR competition on the themes of “Children of the European Union” and “Europe without Borders”; at the trip, the children discovered Slovenia’s cultural and natural heritage, and visited several Slovenian institutions. In 2011, Slovenia co-funded a project of the Institute of Information Science Maribor “COBISS.Net” which serves as an information infrastructure for information exchange on intellectual production, and thus acts as a facilitator of intercultural dialogue between the countries in South-Eastern Europe. In Albania, Slovenia co-funded a project of the Centre for European Perspective "Helping the library of the Faculty of Mathematics and Engineering Sciences in Tirana". The project aimed to improve the accessibility of scientific literature to professors, students and all others who have an interest in the areas of mathematics and engineering.
In 2010, Slovenia contributed funds for the digitalisation of the Herat University library in Afghanistan. Under the auspices of the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute for the Creative Development of Young People (Zavod za ustvarjalni razvoj mladih) organised in 2010 art workshops and exhibitions of the works of Afghan children – refugees. In 2010, in cooperation with the Slovenian ministries of defence and foreign affairs and the Embassy of the United States in Ljubljana, Pionirski dom, a centre for youth culture, carried out a project entitled “Art Without Borders”. The project hosted six students and professors of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Herat University, Afghanistan, who from 24 November to 3 December 2010, participated in art workshops to learn new fine arts techniques, and visited Slovenian museums and educational institutions to learn about the situation of visual arts in Slovenia. In 2011, Slovenia continued to actively support the further development of graphic arts at the Herat Faculty of Fine Arts (Afghanistan), notably with a project of providing the Faculty of Fine Arts with graphic equipment which enabled its professors and students to further develop their knowledge of graphic techniques acquired in Slovenia. During a relatively short period and due to an increased interest in the study of graphic arts, Slovenia’s contribution in this field yielded some concrete results, such as the formation of an independent department of graphic arts in 2011. In 2011, Slovenia co-financed an ethnological study of the revitalisation of handicrafts and crafts in Afghanistan among the vulnerable groups of Afghan refugees returning from Iran.
Slovenia co-financed the establishment of the Kafuli centre for computer literacy in Burkina Faso, a project by Umanotera, a Slovenian foundation for sustainable development. This 2010–2011 project involved the opening of a computer centre in a library, offering free computer courses. In 2010, the Slovenian Government co-financed a project by the Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture, involving the construction of a classroom and a library for the South African Ithuba Primary School, which are also open to the local population. The Ithuba Primary School is set in a Johannesburg slum, marked by high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, and people infected with HIV. The project was part of a broader undertaking by an international network of schools of architecture, involving the construction of premises intended for education in undeveloped and socially disadvantaged parts of the world. MATAFIR, a society for intercultural relations, carried out in Sierra Leone in 2010 the project “I know – I can: Empowerment of Girls and Women in Sierra Leone”, which focused on motivating girls and women to continue their education. Slovenia co-funded the project, allocating EUR 12,057. Slovenia co-financed the project “Library – the Cornerstone of Reading Culture and a Source of Knowledge”, carried out by the Edirisa Society of Slovenia in Uganda. This 2010–2011 project involved allocating a room for the library, equipping the room, and preparing the library’s action programme.
In 2011, Slovenia contributed to the Trust Fund in Jamaica for the construction of a permanent memorial in honour of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.