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Case Studies on Innovative Social Inclusion Practices

The experiences, best practices and lessons learned through the project “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks”, implemented through IRIS Network, are represented within Case Studies on innovative social inclusion practice.

Six national innovative Case Studies have been developed, as a result of  social engagement and good cooperation between national IRIS network members in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. The Studies are promoting inventive and sustainable solutions based on a social investment approach.

Innovative models of social services are aimed to improve the system of social protection, support and integration of the most vulnerable groups, with the special focus on youth in need. The very heterogeneous group of beneficiaries also includes victims of domestic violence, elderly and persons with disabilities.

Each case study includes:

a) Description of the innovative and sustainable example,

b) A qualitative assessment of the local social realities,

c) Means-tested analysis of the ‘clients’,

d) Reference to relevant EU policies and 

e) Qualitative assessment on the up scaling potential.

To read more follow the links bellow:

CS Albania

CS Bosnia and Herzegovina

CS FYR Macedonia

CS Kosovo

CS Montenegro

CS Serbia

Traineeship in UK awarded to IRIS Network candidate Gonxhe Kandri

In the framework of the EU-funded project “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSOs”, IRIS Network in cooperation with Solidar has selected the candidate for participation in four weeks long Professional Staff Traineeship Programme in United Kingdom. The candidate is provided with the opportunity to participate in activities of the Volunteering Matters – UK national charity organization, located in Ipswich.

The traineeship is awarded to Gonxhe Kandri who is working in NGO Partnere per Femijet, IRIS Network partner in Albania. As a social worker with a degree in social science, obtained at the University of Tirana, she based her work experience on the projects which aim to promote well-being of the children and other vulnerable groups, such as young adults with disabilities or migrant women in Albania. She has more than seven years of experience in managing and monitoring child focused projects and activities, as well as in cooperation with institutions, especially in education, health and child protection sector.

Kandri’s internship in the Volunteering Matters’ offices has started on 10th of August. After just two weeks of practice, it is visible that the Program has overcome her expectations.

“This placement gives me the opportunity to understand different cultures and traditions, in the context of gender based violence (GBV) or domestic abuse. I am becoming familiar with different ways of addressing the needs of women from different countries and services which are provided for them here, in UK”, Kandri says.

Since the first day of the Proffesional Training, Kandri is working with the WASSUP group. The WASSUP, which is abbreviations for “W.omen A.gainst S.exual exploitation and violence S.peak UP”, is the peer-led group of 17 women aged 17-25, which offers creative and innovative support and service provision for BME young women who have suffered from/ are exiting/ are at risk of child sexual exploitation or violence.

“As part of my role, I’m doing a piece of research with the young and adult women who have suffered from GBV and until now I have done three interviews with them. I have five more interviews to do after which I will write a report. Also I have done a desk review about legal framework on GBV and studies related to this issue”, Kandri explains. She can anticipate the contribution of the internship to her future work in Albania.

“In UK there are many different services which can be used to support victims of domestic violence and the existence of better understating of their needs is notable. All of the services are synchronized – something which is missing in Albania. We are still struggling in need of addressing domestic violence in a proper way” she said.

The Volunteering Matters is the leading charity organization in UK, active in policy and practice. It is also an experienced NGO at European level – since 1990s it is member and the host of the Secretariat for Volonteurope, the key European volunteer network, based on promotion of volunteering, active citizenship and social justice.

Gonxhe Kandri is holding a poster which is representing the victim of violence against woman while the participants are commenting the picture.

Gonxhe Kandri is holding a poster which is representing the victim of violence against woman, while other participants are commenting the picture.

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.