Protection for 700 women and children in Una – Sana Canton

Round table “The role and importance of local partnerships in promoting non-violent behaviour” brought together representatives of relevant institutions and organizations in a field of prevention of domestic violence and violence against women in Una – Sana Canton in Bosnia. Organized by the IRIS Network’s members – Zene sa Une and Foundation LARA from Bijeljina under the project “Local partnership for preventing and combating violence against women”, event has addressed the challenges which all relevant stakeholders are facing to in the status quo – women and children who are (potential) victims on the one hand and social service delivery centres, on the other.

Discussion reflected a necessity of implementing changes in domestic violence law, improving the protocol for handling the cases of violence and strengthening cooperation between local government and CSOs. Also, the representatives of Ministry for Health of USC, Office for free law help providing of USC, Coordination Committee for gender equalities of USC and non-government organizations have agreed on lack of their communication in the past and expressed strong will to collaborate in a future.

Via project “Local partnership for preventing and combating violence against women” approximately 700 women from USC, including real and potential victims, are to be protected. Protection is possible thanks to awareness raising campaigns aimed at prevention of violence against women; strengthening cooperation between key institutions; improving skills and capacities of the organizations which are providing social services for woman. All of these goals are integrated in project’s actions implemented by Zene sa Une and Foundation LARA. Project is funded through Small Grants Programme of IRIS Network.

Violence against woman is still a huge problem worldwide, especially in patriarchal societies. Balkan countries, unfortunately, pretty much reflect this claim. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, violence against women together with domestic violence is one of the major societal challenges, recently transferred from private into public sphere. Victims are numerous and statistics are incomplete.

Call for applicants – traineeship programme in France

IRIS Network in cooperation with SOLIDAR is presenting a Professional Staff Training Programme in CSO Ligue de l’enseignement des Pyrénées atlantiques in France. Application is open to staff members of CSOs providing social services in the Western Balkans, that are part of the IRIS Network.

Training Programme will allow one selected candidate to spend 4 weeks in premises of Ligue de l’enseignement des Pyrénées atlantiques at the mountain center ‘Le Cardet à Gourette’ in France, where she/he will be involved in the organisation and development of leisure activities, non-formal learning and animation with children and teenagers, among which persons with intellectual disabilities.

Deadline for applying is 31 May 2016.

More information can be found here.

When it concerns them – they have a say

First group meetings of activists in Perrënjas and Librazhd, organized by IRIS Network member Partnerë për Fëmijët, have marked the successful beginning of the implementation of the project “Strengthening Citizenship and Advocacy with Persons with Disabilities” in Albania. Meetings have connected young people with disabilities, their parents and family members with representatives of local authorities and relevant institutions involved in delivering social services to disabled.

Project implementation is ongoing in two municipalities with high rate of people with disabilities – Perrënjas (app. 600 among 27000 inhabitants) and Librazhd (app. 950 in a community of 50000 citizens). Within the project, Partnerë për Fëmijët is investing efforts to motivate and educate youth with disabilities to advocate their rights and teaching how to institutionalize their participation.

Project activities are directly engaging 125 beneficiaries. They are learning how to develop conduct surveys, analyse data and develop priority action plan, lobbying to relevant institutions ensuring adequate social policies and practice. Approximately 1500 youth with disabilities are to be indirect beneficiaries.

Being a young person with disability in Albania means narrowed opportunities for a decent future and lack of social integration. Ineffective institutions and social stigma leave youth with disabilities and their parents in non-optimistic chances for improving life conditions. The necessary support for this vulnerable group of youths as well as to authorities in integrating people with disabilities, comes through project. The mission of the project is to provide young people who are struggling with different types of disablement with proper social services, based on their expressed needs.

The project “Strengthening Citizenship and Advocacy with Persons with Disabilities” is one of 12 projects financially supported by IRIS Network through small grants programme “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks”.

Better life for Roma in Tuzla Canton

Establishment of strategic and action framework for the improvement of life conditions of Roma citizens in 6 municipalities of Tuzla Canton will be available thanks to the project “Development of Local action plans for effective social inclusion of Roma”, implemented by the IRIS Network member – Association “Euro Rom”. Efforts of the Association to involve the Roma population in Tuzla Canton in decision making processes, by overcoming weaknesses of the National Action Plan for Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina, are supported by local authorities and relevant institutions in social and minority protection sector. The policies and practices in the area of social inclusion of Roma in Tuzla Canton are to be improved by the end of 2016.

City of Tuzla and five surrounding municipalities –- Zivinice, Lukavac, Srebrenik, Celic and Kalesija, are home to approximately 15000 Roma (app 20% of total Roma population in B&H). The process of their inclusion in society is not complete yet. Up until today, stepping stone was missing – defining of a strategy and local action plan for inclusion. Within the process, Roma people will be provided with high quality social services, understanding the importance of the inclusion in the community and decision makers. These are the main goals of “Development of Local action plans for effective social inclusion of Roma” project.

The latest round table event organized by “Euro Rom” brought together 52 participants, among them representatives of the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees B&H, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Tuzla Canton, Ministry of Interior TC, City Council of Tuzla and Commission for National Minority Rights Protection. They were involved in meaningful discussion on challenges of Roma community within the inclusion process and expressed the support to the project activities.

The project “Development of Local action plans for effective social inclusion of Roma” is one of 12 projects financially supported by IRIS Network through small grants programme.