Socacitele, the community caterers

According to the tradition of Transylvania villages, the community caterers (socăcițele) are present to all the major events in the village life – weddings, christenings and almsgivings. The objective of the project “SOCĂCIȚELE – Community Caterers” is to contribute to the discovery and promotion of community catering art (socăcit) of the upper Somes Valley, mainly in Feldru, Rebrisoara and Rodna villages from Bistrita-Nasaud County.

Implementation period: 2015-2016 | Budget: 15.000 EUR | Funder: EEA Grants 2009-2014, program PA17/RO13 | Details

Third Place for Active Citizenship

Third place for active citizenship (in short, The Third Place) project is financed through EEA Grants 2009-2014, NGO Fund programme. The project goal is to set up a comprehensive system that facilitates citizens’ participation in practicing democracy by forming active citizens, creating spaces that protect and promote democratic values (“democracy nests”) ​​and by conducting integrity audits for local governments.

Period: July 2014 – April 2016 | Budget: 245.884 EUR | Funder: EEA Grants 2009-2014, NGO Fund | Details

Silver Stories

Silver Stories is a project funded by the European Commission, Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation program, which follows-up the DigiTales – Extending creative practices project (2011-2012, financed through Grundtvig program) and the national program DigiTales, financed by IREX (2013)The main objectives of the project are to create a new digital storytelling course and to deliver it in 11 county libraries for VET specialists, working with marginalized learners (i.e.: NGO representatives, employees of public institutions social workers, psycho-pedagogues, psychologists).

Period: November 2013 – August 2015 | Budget: 279.014 EUR | Funder: EC, Leonardo da Vinci | Details

Bistrita’s Cuisine

The project Traditional food in Bistrita-Nasaud (otherwise known as „Bistrita’s Cuisine”), funded by the County Council of Bistrita-Nasaud, had facilitated the rediscovery and promotion of cultural and gastronomic identity in Bistrita-Nasaud by creating an eBook with traditional recipes, introducing gourmet recipes in restaurants and guest houses in the county and by creating a stable group of volunteers who will continue to bring up and promote the whole gastronomic heritage in the county.

Period: August – November 2014 | Budget: 5000 RON | Funder: County Council of Bistrita-Nasaud | Details

Bistrita mea, secretul meu

My secret Bistrita, a winning concept promoted in the framework of the Casa Ema vrea sa te miste project competition, was implemented from June to November 2014. The project goal was to create a collaborative map of the city by collecting selfies made by fellow citizens in various town parts that they’re found of. In other words, the project aimed and succeeded to reveal the subjective (yet wondersful) side of Bistrita, drawing a new map of the town, one marked by memories and emotions.

Period: June – November 2014 | Budget: 800 RON | Funder: Casa Ema

Schollar performance no matter the social level

Schollar performance no matter the social level”, a winning project proposal submitted in the RSC competition “Raiffeisen comunitati”, was implemented in the school year of 2013 – 2014 to help 60 students in classes VII and VIII of the Secondary School “Lucian Blaga” University and the Gymnasium No. 7 from Viisoara Bistrita with a specific goal: help them get the best results at the National Assessment in 2014. Students received special tutoring after school for the Romanian Language and Mathematics disciplines. At the same time, teachers from two schools participated in a workshop regarding innovative teaching methods while students were given the necessary training supplies and collections.

Period: 2013 – 2014 | Budget: 28.370 RON | Funder: Raiffeisen, „Raiffeisen Comunitati” | Details

Volunteer Gardeners for Kindergartens

In the “Volunteer Gardeners for Kindergartensprogram, Progress Foundation – in partnership with the RV Projects, UK – has so far renovated 10 kindergartens in Bistrita and surroundings, involving young people and volunteers not only in the actual “gardening” activities, but also in cultural events (charity concerts) and various fundraising activities.

Period: 2011-2014 | Budget: 50.000 EUR | Funder: RV Projects (Great Britain) | Details


During 2011 and early 2012, Progress Foundation facilitated the participation of 14 librarians from 12 Romanian counties in the digital storytelling training course (DigiTales ToT) organized by Goldsmiths College in the UK. Upon their returning to Romania, the librarian trainers trained in turn seniors in their communities and so we were able to achieve three important goals: preservation of cultural identity in the local communities, digital literacy and and digital inclusion of older persons. Besides this, the project implementation had as a tangible result a collection of over 100 digital stories, all very interesting and exciting.

Period: 2011-2012 | Budget: 20.000 EUR | Funder: EC,  Grundtvig | Details

And the list goes on…

Since its establishment until now, Progress Foundation has developed a lot of projects, locally as well as nationally and internationally. Click here to download our organizational annual report and find out more on our projects in 2014.

  1. Who we are
  2. Our vision
  3. What we do
  4. Our approach

Who we are

We are an experienced Romanian NGO that pilots local initiatives in the field of education/training, (e-)inclusion and community development and then scales it up, at national level, as innovative and impactful best practices.

Our vision

Our vision regarding development is that “small is beautiful” which means that activities or punctual interventions can have a great impact on people and communities. Therefore our motto is: “Small steps, giant leaps“.

In its 18 years of activity, Progress Foundation has implemented and continues to implement projects (local and national) focused on strengthening the local capacity, active citizenship, digital literacy and social innovation, while helping vulnerable groups (Roma, marginalized youth, women, elderly etc.) to develop new skills and become active in their communities.

At the heart of our development approach are the county/local libraries as social hubs for lifelong learning and community centers that connect various social groups, especially the marginal ones.

  • I have worked with Progress Foundation because they are an absolutely reliable partner in our international projects. Participants from Progress Foundation are very well prepared concerning the subject of our cooperation (empowerment of vulnerable groups – girls/women) as well as they are strong personalities to stand for their own position and opinion. At the same time Progress Foundation represents real intercultural learning because of their open minded attitude and capacity to transfer differences into challenging leaning experiences. 

  • I really admire Progress Foundation for its original, courageous and meaningful idea of bringing democracy and civic activities into libraries. Thanks to that libraries become important spaces of POLITICAL CULTURE in their local communities. We keep finger crossed for this project and we look forward to implement it in Poland!

  • Progress Foundation does exactly what they say on the jar. They create a strong foundation to enable progress, whether it be the capacity of organisations to increase or the development of individuals not only to think outside the box, but to create a whole new space. I chose to work with Progress Foundation because of the commitment and passion and professionalism of their team. They understand the landscape in Romania and internationally. I am impressed both by the expertise and skills of their principals and by the resonance and power of their principles.  I look forward to the next opportunity to work with Progress Foundation again.

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