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
  22. UG OSMEH VLASOTINCe
  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.

Regional training program „Efficient management – better services“, Igalo

Regional training program Efficient management – better services, Igalo

Regional training program „Efficient management – better services“ for members of Bosnian and Montenegro national networks has started today in Igalo, Montenegro at Hotel “Simo Milosevic”. This is second block of this seminar, which was already held for CSOs from Croatia and Serbia at Lake Palic, last week. Training program for organizations, members of Kosovo national network, will be held from 14-18. of July in Prishitna.

Representatives of CSOs, members of Iris network form Bosnia and Montenegro will discuss and improve their knowledge of management of civil society organizations,  positioning to the target group and market, financial management, strategic planning, methods of financing, advocacy for the improvement of social services, projects writing and implementation in this five-day seminar. After concluding the seminar, these representatives will gather again on the 25th of July to discuss project proposals for applications for grants under the project “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional Civil Society networks” implemented by Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund and funded by European Union

This training seminar is also preparation for members of the IRIS network on how to develop good project proposals for our applications for grants under the project “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional Civil Society networks” implemented by Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund SEE and funded by the European Union. Call for proposals is opened until 5th of August , and the best twenty project proposals will receive a grant in of 3000 euros for project implementation.

Regional training program „Efficient management – better services“, Lake Palic

Regional training program Efficient management – better services, Lake Palic

Regional training program „Efficient management – better services“ has started today in Lake Palic, Hotel Park. Around 55 representatives of CSOs, members of Croatian and Serbian national networks gathered for five-day seminar to discuss and improve their knowledge of management of civil society organizations,  positioning to the target group and market, financial management, strategic planning, methods of financing,advocacy for the improvement of social services, projects writing and implementation.

The main objective of the training seminar is to improve the quality of social services through the empowerment of the local, grass-root organizations. Most of these organizations are constantly facing great financial problems with the lack of good organizational management. Exchanging good practices and with good theoretical support, these organizations will be able to increase the range and quality of their services . Increasing the capacity of CSOs will enable the voices of people who want to influence the reform of the public sector through analysis, monitoring and advocacy to be heard. This will ensure a high level of quality in the provision of social services for vulnerable groups (people with disability, children and youth at risk, victims of gender-based violence, domestic violence, refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups).

This training seminar is also a seminar preparation for members of the IRIS network on how to develop good project proposals for our applications for grants under the “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional Civil Society networks” implemented by Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund SEE and funded by the European Union. Call for proposals is opened until 5th of August , and the best twenty project proposals will receive a grant in of 3000 euros for project implementation.

Public hearing, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Public hearing, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In premises of the City Youth Centre Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the 28th of April, partner LIR Civil Society organized public hearing based on results and recommendation of the “Comparative Analysis of the Role of Civil Society in Providing Social Welfare Services in the Western Balkans”. Main objective of the hearing was to present recommendations for advocacy in order to improve the delivery of social services in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to highlight the importance of the role of NGOs in the provision of social services and the need of strengthening the partnership between the government and the NGO sector.

Representatives of Government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, from two entities and Brcko district, came to give their support to this project and IRIS network, and also to participate in discussion about future collaboration between civil society and government. About sixty representatives of civil sector and members of IRIS network took part in public hearing, amongst which IRIS partners presented  concluded activities and results in project Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional Civil Society networks” so far.

Natasa Stevanovic, Chief of Department for social protection and health, Brcko district, explained gathered about the system of quality control service providers and future plans related to the Brcko District which was followed by the presentation of the system of quality control service providers and future plans in this area in the Republic of Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Amongst key speakers were :

– Olivera Mastikosa , National Coordinator for improvement people with disabilities in the area of ​​social protection and coordinator for cooperation with partners in CSR, Republika Srpska,

– Dobrica Jonjic Assistant Minister of the Department for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities and the protection of civilian victims of war, the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

– Marina Lučić, Coordinator of the project, Youth centre “Vermont Brčko”,

– Mirsada Bajramović, manager of the association „Zemlja djece“ Tuzla,

– Maša Mirković, excutive director of “Nova Generacija”, Banja Luka,

Other respected participants from Government  institutions were:

– Sakib Alebegovic Assistant to Minister of Ministry of health, work and social politics of Una Sana Canton (FBiH);

– Sulejman Alijagic, Assistant to the Minister, Federal Ministry for displaced persons and refugees, also Associates for BiH;

– Zlata Papric, director for Centar for mental health, Brcko District;

– Stela Dukic, Assistant to the Ministry for work, social protection and refugees Zenica-Doboj Canton;

– Blaz Zuparic, Minister of health, work and social politics Posavski Canton;

– Azem Poljic Assistant to the Minister of Ministry for work, social protection and return;

Public speaking was concluded with a discussion on the best ways to improve the quality control system of social welfare services in the public and NGO sector in which many participants had the opportunity to express their views and recommendations.

Stories of Hope – RUHAMA

Stories of Hope – RUHAMA

RUHAMA- Bringing a ray of light into the lives of people in need

Humanitarian organization „RUHAMA“ became member of Bosnian national network in November 2013. This NGO has been dedicated in helping socially most handicapped population, the old and disable people for ten years. This is the only organization in Zenica-Doboj Canton for Health and Palliative Care for people above the age of 60 years. The Team of 12 doctors, 12 nurses, 90 volunteers (from 12 to 22 years), social worker physician, lawyer and craftsman (plumber and electrician) has been carrying out all services of supporting people in need. The specific objective of program „ Home Care“ is continuation of regular and systematic support to the home visiting program , run by Ruhamas medical team and volunteers, and it includes the following : Help in the house, medical care, dentist, personal hygiene, recreational and educational center.

From many patients Ruhama Centar and their specialists took care for in the last year, one elderly lady made extraordinary progress. This is her story.

–          Two middle-aged woman brought their mother from Sarajevo, which is away from Zenica 80km. They begged for help to their mother, who had a severe stroke, fed with feeding tube and was in a semi-conscious state. They were stressed and through tears explained that the doctor said that their mother will live just one to two more weeks. Specialists fro Ruhama promised these two ladies that they will do everything in their power to help their mother, but with a touch of suspicion, because the old lady was really in a very difficult situation with all forms of long-term complications of decompensation (decubital wounds, thrombosis, pneumonia) .

After standard admission procedures in Ruhama, physicians reviewed patient records, discharge papers and other medical reports and opened a medical card and planned implementation of health care for this 72 years old lady.Every day is the therapy had an adequate diet that is made  for individuals who feed on the tube. Continuous staff in a light and calming ambience discussed with patient though she was in a semi-conscious state. After some time the old woman was first opened her eyes and began to respond to their inquiries. The physical therapist started working with her and she slowly started sitting and learning to walk again. Defectologist was also in the team and was trying to eliminate speech disturbances, because she had aphasia (damage of the speech center). Complete treatment, which lasted a year has led to the success of this old lady: she talked, walked up and started to react to what is happening around her.

This is only one successful example which would not happen if project „Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks“  wasn’t recognized as important by the European Union.

Stories of hope – OCI/OGI

Stories of hope – OCI,OGI

Granny Milica and her geronto family

Organization for Civil Initiatives, member and partner of IRIS network, has been implementing Ministry’s of family, defenders and inter-generation solidarity  program “Helping at home to elderly persons” in the areas of municipality of Kistanje and Promina where share of elderly and disabled persons, in total population, is very high. Most of the older population in these areas live in hard conditions and cannot use institutional types of care for elderly and disabled.
Implementation of this program has greatly improved the lives of beneficiaries, from which many weren’t able to carry out basic life needs. Particular problem is that, these municipalities are pretty far from bigger cities like Knin, Šibenk and Drniš (cca 20km).
To all the beneficiaries of the program, contractors of the program, on everyday basis, carry out administrative tasks (personal documents, health insurance, orthopedic help, social care, Caritas, Red Cross), deliver the medicines or supplies to them or as needed, take them to the doctor.

One of fifty beneficiaries of the program, in the area of municipality of Kistanje is granny Milica Vranjković from Smrdelje. A place 15km away from Kistanje. This fragile older lady is born in 1927, lives alone, has no pension and receives social benefits in the amount of 80 EUR per month. Her health is seriously disrupted and no one comes to visit her except from the employees of the program “Helping at home to elderly and disabled”. Recently, she was sick with a cold, but didn’t want to go to hospital. She just kept saying she’ll get out of bed if her’s Rada and Dušanka come to see her (Rada and Dušanka are her geronto housewives) and sit with her, and when her handyman Ilija (also a person from the program) prepares the firewood. When needed the drove her to the doctor in Kistanje, brought her medicines and supplies and made her meals. The workers visit her even after their work time because this older woman considers them as her family. Beside the friendship and warm words, she feels like  can count on them. She takes her indigence much easier because they help her with house work and personal hygiene.  Every day, nanny Milica stands with her cane by the window and waits for Rada, Dušanka and Ilija.

The social dimension of EU Enlargement

The social dimension of EU Enlargement

On Tuesday 1 April, the round table ‘The social dimension of EU Enlargement’ organized by the IRIS Network, SOLIDAR, ASB South East Europe (SEE) and FEPS took place in the European Parliament involving MEPs Knut Fleckenstein, Maria Eleni Koppa and Marino Baldini and representatives of DGs Employment and Social Affairs and Enlargement. The main questions for the debate concerned the latest developments since the adoption of the EP resolution on enlargement (based on the report of MEP Maria Eleni Koppa) in 2013 which highlighted the neglect of the social dimension of the EU enlargement process.

Participants from the IRIS Network highlighted measures that are needed to be put in place, in order to strengthen the social dimension of the EU Enlargement process and to enhance the socio-economic transformation of candidate countries. And good practices were presented that showcase how civil society organizations are working to advance social cohesion and active inclusion in the Balkan. In addition, the IRIS Network’s book “Comparative Analysis of the Role of Civil Society in Providing Social Welfare Services in the Western Balkans” was presented.

The comparative analysis presents the legal and institutional framework for the provision of social service by civil society organisations in the Western Balkans and their role in this field. The situation in each country is described in special chapters together with recommendations and examples of good practices. Partcipants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia discussed the following general conclusions and recommendations outlined in the baseline study to:

  • Establish systems of support for the NGO sector, coordinated with the work of line ministries in order to enable greater efficiency and long-term sustainability of the NGO sector.
  • Build national systems of financing that can help to define the priorities for the development of the NGO sector and its interactions with the public service sector.
  • Strengthen the monitoring and policy making capacities of line ministries in order to support the development of the entire social protection system as well as NGOs providing social services.
  • Implement concurrent advocacy work for the development of the NGO sector and also to introduce of a quality control system in both sectors.

In 2014 IRIS Network plans to continue working together with the SOLIDAR and other members and partners to enhance the socio-economic transformation of candidate countries, the revitalisation of socio-economic rights through chapters 23 and 24 and the Europeanisation of a strong social model.

*Article from http://www.solidar.org/The-social-dimension-of-EU.html