It is our great pleasure to present you our new partners from FYR of Macedonia and Albania and their national networks. Now IRIS has not five, but seven national secretariats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia and two in formation in FYROM and Albania.

Based on previous cooperation, we added new partners to IRIS network:
Association of students and youth with disabilities from FYROM (ASYD) and
Social Organization for the Support of Youth (ARISIS) from Albania.

Association of students and youth with disabilities from FYROM (ASYD)

ASYD was founded in 2002 by a group consisting of students with disability, special educators and rehabilitators and also students without disabilities.The mission of ASYD is to promote inclusive secondary and higher education young people and students with disability by provision of all necessary conditions, representing the social model in the approach to disability and fulfilling further planned goals of the organisation.

The association is the only organisation in Macedonia that is strictly working on overcoming the barriers in secondary and higher education for students with disabilities.

National network of FYR of Macedonia
Association of invalid pensioners in Municipality Chair
Association of students and youth with disability
Association on Social Workers of the city of Skopje
Food bank Macedonia
Association Regional Center for persons with intellection disability ” Poraka Nasa”- Kumanovo
Roma Community Center ” DROM”- Kumanovo
Women’s Civic Initiative “ANTICO”
Organization”Mladi Info”
Association of women s and childrens
Center for women and children
Roma center
Association for pensioners
Ekocenter Gostivar
Youth organization from Tetovo

Social Organization for the Support of Youth (ARISIS) from Albania
Cente for Civic Perspective

ARSIS was established in 1992 and is working in Tirana since 2005  due to the active participation of members, volunteers and young people. ARSIS mission in Tirana takes actions for the prevention of children/youth exclusion (0 to 25 years old). In this frame, ARSIS develops new methods and tools for children/youth support, organizes and participates in networks for social solidarity, cooperates with public and private services and promotes improved methods for the social policy of youths.

ARSIS is a Non Governmental Organization, specializing in the social support of children/youth that are in difficulty or danger and in the advocacy of their rights. The main target is the prevention of their marginalization, the elaboration of policies which defend their rights and the active social support towards disadvantaged people. We offer our services to young individuals and communities who live under conditions of poverty, neglect, victimization, conflict, disapproval, exploitation, isolation, racism or they are having problems with law, they are institutionalized, have dropped out school and they face social discrimination.

National network of Albania

Different & Equal
Children of the World Albania- Human Rights
National Association Education for Life – SHKEJ
Psycho-Social Centre “Vatra”
LGBT Alliance Albania
Institute of Romani Culture in Albania – IRCA
MEDPAK Association
Tjeter Vizion
TLAS (Tirana Legal Aid Society)
ADRA Albania
ARSIS – Social Organisation for the Support of the Youth
“Amaro-Drom” Union
National Association Education for Life – SHKEJ

Training programme “Efficient management – better services” for members of Albania and FYROM national networks

Training programme Efficient management – better services for members of Albania and FYROM national networks

Training programme  “Efficient management – better services”  for members of Albania and FYROM national networks starts today and it will last until Friday, 31 October. New members of IRIS gathered in hotel “Metropol”, Lake Ohrid in Macedonia to improve their knowledge in areas of organizational management, planning, financing and development of new services.

Around 40 representatives of CSOs working in these two countries will learn how to manage their organization, how to position it in the market, how to develop good strategies, how to find sources for financing of their CSO etc.This is the fourth time we organize the training programme  “Efficient management – better services”, but now for our new partners. Members of Bosnian,Croatian, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbian networks have already participated in this seminar.

Invitation: Croatia national network conference

Dear Mr/Mrs,

We wish to invite you to participate in closing conference of the project „Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional Civil Society networks“ in Croatia, organized by IRIS network partner Organization for Civil Initiatives (OGI). Event will take place in Hotel „Vila Ariston“ in Osjek, 16th of October 2014.

Purpose of the conference is to present findings and successfully concluded activities of IRIS network in first two project years and to present planned actions for 2015. and 2016. Members of the National network of Croatia will also sign Declaration of joint principals of action.

Thanks to the efforts of the organizers and with the financial support of the EU, there is no fee for the conference, and all costs of transport are covered by OGI. Travel costs will be refunded on the spot so we kindly ask you to save your tickets or gas receipts.

Please send filled application form no later than Tuesday, 14th of October to

We are expecting you!

Social service providers in BIH: How far did we come in the first two project years

National conference of CSOs, members of IRIS network and national network of social service providers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was successfully finished today in Banja Vrucica, Teslic. Around 50 representatives of these organization and national and local government officials gathered to discuss results of the first two years of existence of the only regional network of social service providers – IRIS.

Participant of the one-day conference „ Positioning the National network in the field of social services“ concluded that civil sector and CSOs became inevitable government partner in the field of social care. Further more, one of the main focuses, in this area, will be connecting the public and civil sector with the aim to improve provision of social services in BiH. Representatives of IRIS network members got a chance to learn more about standardization and licensing of social services, accreditation of their progremmes and experiences of the similar types of organizations from the region.

„ In the first two project years we succeeded to connect over 30 organizations who provide various types of social services to vulnerable groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Throughout our conferences and training programmes 100 professionals improved their knowledge in the areas of social management, development of new services, advocacy campaigns, financial and organizational management, and also exchanged experiences and good practices. Iris network became great support system for these grass root organization which enabled them to develop new and improve existing services in their local communities“ said Mrs Biljana Zgonjanin, president of LIR civil society and coordinator of national network of BiH.

Members of BiH national network signed the Declaration of joint values which will also be a guide for future members of this network. One of the main objectives of the project „Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional Civil Society networks“ in the next two years is broadening regional network IRIS and national networks in the Balkan region.

Small Grants Facility: Association “Will to live”

Project “I can and I will”

The main objective of the project is the integration of persons with disabilities in social life through their active participation and constant engagement.
Day care center for people with disabilities “Lane” is a specific type of support to people with disabilities and their families. Working every day and successfully achieving program of prevention of social isolation of users. Nurses and teachers provide constant and selfless care for users. Throughout the planned project activities, Center Lane will employ two occupational therapists who will train people with disabilities to work on molds for making decorative candles, packaging and printing, and selling decorative candles. This will increase the number of engaged users and the proceeds of sale will enable purchase of new materials which will enhance and improve the functionality of the Day Care Centre. Part of the funds will be directed to monthly fees of occupational therapists, who will address the training needs of people with disabilities and help in making decorative candles. Throughout the project, with the help of the media, local community will be informed about project activities and the concept of partnership between civil society organizations and local communities in order to solve the problems of people with disabilities and the suppression of their isolation. At the same time efforts will be made to raise public awareness about the commitment and contributions of persons with disabilities in the local community, as well as their employment for the purpose of self-involvement in any sphere of social life.
At the end of the project implementation Association will organize a promotional event which will take place in the city center, where citizens of Velika Plana will be able to buy the handmade candles and learn more about the activities of the Day Care Centre throughout brochures and other promotional material. Main goal of this final event is promoting the skills and availabilities of people with disabilities.

The objectives to be achieved:

The specific objectives are:
– Strengthening and capacity building of users day care center for independent living through learning and mastering new skills in order to achieve feelings of fulfillment and usefulness;
– Strengthened capacity for employment, providing support for an integrated approach through the work of Day Care Centre where they will carry out occupational activities;
– Raising awareness of the rights for equal opportunities and creating the conditions for the inclusion of a wider population of citizens in order to reduce prejudice towards people with disabilities;
– Promotion of sustainable local development through the inclusion of people with disabilities in the community and their commitment and purpose of earning income;
– Promotion of the concept of partnership between civil society organizations, local government business sector in order to address locally important social issues and sustainable local development.

Background of Association “Will to live”

Association of persons with cerebral palsy “Will to live” was founded in Velika Plana in Serbia in 2003. The organization currently includes 150 members, of whom 39 persons with cerebral palsy and, while the others with different types of disabilities. The aimof the Association is to improve the mental condition of people with disabilities with psycho-social support. The mission of theAssociation is to improve the lives of people with disabilities, because they believe that all people with disabilities deserve a better future.

Small Grants Facility: CSO “Our Age”

Small Grants Facility CSO Our Age

Background of “Our Age”

NGO “Our Age” encourages senior citizens to actively participate in the improvement of their generation’s position. We promote active aging, volunteerism, generational and intergenerational cooperation. The organization was founded in 2012, and it gathers about twenty members of different ages.

Project “At home for the elderly” 

The aim of the project is to improve availability and quality of social care services for elder people in Montenegro. Implementing this project, NGO “Our Age” will try to perform an active role in developing the Local action plan of social inclusion in Podgorica for 2015. Throughout the planned activities, they will inform citizens about conditions in homes for the elderly and about other forms of institutional care for this social group. They will also strive to reduce prejudices, because, due to traditional attitudes and lack of information, the animosity toward accommodation in homes is widespread in the society.
The project includes visits to public homes for the elderly in Risan and Bijelo Polje, which are examples of good practices in Montenegrin social protection system.

According to the information which is to be obtained from the contact with management, staff and beneficiaries in the homes, “Our Age” will create a document with recommendations and best practice examples in order to improve life conditions of the elderly in homes. The document will be addressed to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare  and presented at the round table entitled “Social services for the elderly,” which will mark the International Day of  Older PersonsOctober 1st.

Small Grants Facility: Women’s Association Vukovar

Small Grants Facility Women’s Association Vukovar

Background of Women’s Association Vukovar

Women’s Association Vukovar is feminist, non-governmental, non-profit, and non-partisan civil society organization registered 1998 year and acting in the area of Vukovar-Srijem County, Croatia. This organization participates in the processes of building and development of democratic society with the aim of promoting the principles of equality, non-violence, transparency and socially responsible acting and behavior of all participants of the social processes in the field of human rights protection, social development and civil society development.

Project „Support to Women in Disadvantaged Social Position“ 

Main objective of project „Support to Women in Disadvantaged Social Position“ is to enhance and improve the quality of life and promote social inclusion of marginalized groups, especially: Women from flooded areas of Croatia located in Vukovar, women victims of violence, beneficiaries of Centre for Social Welfare Vukovar, elderly people and youth from the High School Nikola Tesla Vukovar.
Strong network of social service providers in properly equipped and organized place will help these groups to overcome their sense of isolation and it will increase safety and involvement of beneficiaries. The network will provide mutual support to marginalized groups through involvement in activities which provide different forms of assistance and care. Planned activities include: Establishment of SOS line, individual psychological support, group psychological support, creative workshops, working with the volunteers, primary health care of the beneficiaries, safety lectures by police officers, one-day trips etc.
Project implementation has already started with first creative workshop which is being held today from 4 to 6 PM, in the premises of Women’s Association Vukovar.

Small Grants Facility: Center for Social Emancipation

Small Grants Facility Center for Social Emancipation

Background of Qendra per Emancipim Shoqeror (QESh) / Center for Social Emancipation :

Established in 2005, QESh’s goal and purpose is to promote a society characterized by diversity and respect for human diversity, where all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, should have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities to live and work.

QESh was actively involved in advocating and lobbying for sexual orientation to be included in the Kosovo constitution and Anti-Discrimination Law (ADL) as grounds for discrimination on all levels. QESh has also been engaged in ensuring the ADL is amended to include gender identity and expression as grounds for discrimination as well.

In the past QESh has drafted training tools on combating hate crimes, based on sexual orientation for Kosovo police, which is in the Kosovo Police Academy curriculum, while continuing documenting such cases of homophobia, discrimination, and hate crimes. QESh continues to be involved in various awareness raising campaigns and activities for the general public and support activities for the LGBTQ community in Kosovo including visibility-related activities, university lectures, trainings, conferences, and workshops, media campaigns, and the first and only LGBTQ magazine in Kosovo.

Diversity Week: Creating Visibility and Awareness of the LGBT Community in Kosovo

Since 2002, there have been active NGO’s that advocate for the rights of the LGBT community in Kosovo; however a week full of public activities that aim to educate the general public about the LGBT community, as well as raise awareness and aim for tolerance, has never taken place.  With this project, QESh aims to reach its goals by organizing a concert, art exhibitions, monoluge performances, open panel discussions, workshops with experts, health activities, as well as film and documentary screenings, including a documentary currently in production by QESh. Diversity Week will also have people from various backgrounds involved, including artists, youth, university students, health care providers, and experts from various different fields as well as activists from within the region. Inclusion of such a diverse group of people will even further foster the growth of expertise, supporters and networking within the region. QESh will also focus on bringing the LGBT community together to participate in activities but in addition give the community agency to present their skills and express themselves.

Activities will take place from Wednesday to Saturday evening during September. Each day will be designated with a focus on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender individuals respectively. Due to the fact that the LGBT organizations are in Prishtina, and the LGBT community is more present, QESh has decided for the diversity week to take place in Prishtina.  More so, from previous events, QESh has very good collaboration with the Police Department in Prishtina.  For security reasons, we feel that for this year it is necessary for this event to partake in Prishtina especially since it is the first event.

Selected member organizations of IRIS network for receiving grants under the SGF programme

Selected member organizations of IRIS network for receiving grants under the SGF programme

Final evaluation of 43 received project proposals under the evaluation is concluded. IRIS network Project Evaluation Committee, consisted of representatives of ASB and five partner organizations, decided to support total of 23 projects: five in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, and three in Kosovo. Number of supported project is directly proportional to number of received project proposals per country.

Implementation of all supported project starts September 1st  with the duration of two months. Each project deals with important social issues and strives to strengthen civil society organizations providing social service as well as their role in active impact on the creation of social policies and social protection programmes at both national and local levels.

The projects assessment criteria included: organisational performance; comprehensiveness of information including relevance of the proposal to objectives of the fund, objectives of the project and addressing identified need; capacity of identified activities to achieve defined objectives; the relationship between the proposed actions and the financial plan; the intended impact of the project and future sustainability.

At the end of projects implementation, each project will have concrete result regarding the specific direct intervention and, more important, each project will have long-term sustainable results or policy interventions in the local community.

Iris network would like to congratulate all of its member organizations who received grants, but also to thank all applicants who sent us their project proposals. Final list of all organizations who received grants under the project “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks” is below:

  1. Udruženje Nova generacija
  2. Fondacija LARA
  3. Euro Rom
  4. OCD Otaharin
  5. Omladinski centar Vermont
  6. Naše doba
  7. Asocijacija za demokratski prosperitet – Zid
  8. SOS Niksic
  9. Udruzenja mladih sa hendikepom Crne Gore
  10. Crnogorski zenski lobi
  11. Mirovna grupa oaza Beli manastir
  12. Udruga žena Vukovar
  13. Udruga Zlatna dob Stari Jankovci
  14. Vrapcici
  15. Projekt građanske demokratske inicijative
  16. Down Syndrome Kosova
  17. Health For All
  18. Qendra per Emancipim Shoqeror
  19. Udruženje dece ometene u razvoju Vrnjačka Banja
  20. Udruženje osoba sa cerebralnom i dečijom paralizom „Volja za životom“
  21. Udruzenje roditelja dece sa posebnim potrebama Presevo
  23. Udruženje mišićnih i neuromišićnih bolesti Sunce Prokuplje

CORRECTION in Grant Scheme

CORRECTION in Grant Scheme

Dear applicants,

We have changed several conditions for application for our grants for projects. Below you can find these corrections in Serbian and Croatian,

We are very sorry for these late changes.