Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Defendologija

The resulting epidemiological situation affected all spheres of life, but with strict adherence to all prescribed measures, the Center for Security, Sociological and Criminologist Research continued its work with users, children and parents primarily by providing basic foodstuffs to vulnerable families, who remained without basic means of subsistence, without food, hygiene. During the entire period behind Defendologija, with the support of our strategic partners Save the Children from several divisions, over 100 families received assistance, while with the support of private individuals, the Red Cross, the National Kitchen, the Center for Social Work, the Center for Roma Initiatives, Repopulation Affirmation Center, Miljanić cheese factory, Goranović butcher shop, doo Popović, NTC shop, managed to deliver help several times upon request and need to families whose children are directly involved in life and work on the street.

Good cooperation again showed the strength and importance of togetherness, support and mutual understanding, anti-discrimination and anti-marginalization. This period was critical when it comes to monitoring regular classes for members of the RE population, but the common will and struggle, as well as the built system of trust with users and this time resulted in support by phone, social networks and all other available means, so the users of the Day Center had the full support of the expert team of Defendology in this situation as well. On this occasion, according to the children’s requests, we handed out school supplies for over 100 children (notebooks, crayons, blocks, tempera). This period, although very negative in many aspects of life, in part contributed in a positive way, in a way that some families connected, so in regular communication with parents together we supported learning, family cohesion, togetherness and the importance of the family as a main pillar of one society.

This whole period has shown us once again that we are an integrated support service that is trusted and that only in this way we create a bridge to fight poverty, social exclusion, on the path to understanding, acceptance and togetherness.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Osmeh Vlasotince

Eliminating emergency conditions takes a new look at the responsibility and the desire to help people in the community. The volunteers of UG “Osmeh Vlasotince ” from the first day of the state of emergency were at the service of about 320 elderly citizens in 17 villages in the vicinity of Vlasotinca, respecting the protection measures prescribed by the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Some of them were sewing masks and donated to the Health house in Vlasotince, retailers, residents and users on the ground. The telephone of psychosocial support 060/6016210 was available all the time.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Red Cross of Montenegro


From the very beginning of the corona crisis, the Red Cross of Montenegro reacted in line with its role and responsibilities in the system. There are some 100 employees, 130 professional home helpers and around 450 volunteers who are involved in the response across the country.

Red Cross continued with visits to older people (both professionals and volunteers), respecting all preventive measures, except in cases where beneficiaries are refusing the visit due to a fear of disease.

There is a Red Cross Call center for people in need (older people, persons with disabilities, people who live by themselves…) who can call and ask for assistance after which the Red Cross volunteers procure what is needed instead of them. To those in need, and after appropriate assessment, the Red Cross also provides food and hygiene items. Vast majority of the calls are related to requests for humanitarian assistance. In addition, there is a hotline for providing psycho social support where trained RC psychologists provide the necessary assistance.

Since the Call center was opened (from 19 March in the afternoon hours) until May14, Red Cross provided assistance for 33 176 beneficiaries; distributed 47366 humanitarian parcels; volunteers organized groceries shopping, paying bills, etc, for 2240 persons, including older people, people with disabilities, etc, and PSS through the hotline, the Call centre and in person (at local level) was provided to 3263 persons.

Beds, mattress and linens were provided for the location defined as quarantine by the National Coordinating Body. 5 prefabricated containers were also provided as triage facilities that are placed in front of the 3 hospitals in the country. Some tents were also set up in front of emergency centers.

Red Cross Training center in Sutomore is also used as a location for quarantine and Red Cross volunteers assisted in food distribution in some of the quarantines.

Assistance is also being provided to Roma population (food and hygiene). Red Cross of Montenegro has been working with Roma community in the country for almost 20 years now – activities related to education, health, but also provision of humanitarian assistance. RCM also has an office in the camp near Podgorica with around 2.000 Roma refugees from Kosovo. RCM is well aware of their needs and the response is currently mainly on the distribution of food and hygiene items and being organized in cooperation with community leaders. Besides this, RCM is continuously communicating with other Roma NGOs and some other organizations throughout the rest of Montenegro to provide assistance.

The Red Cross of Montenegro continuously provides assistance to socially vulnerable people in the country – older people, people without any or with extremely low income, persons with disabilities and the Roma population. However, the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic is also affecting new categories of people – people who stayed without jobs due to restrictive preventive measures adopted by the Government of Montenegro. These are people who were receiving daily income (taxi drivers, waiters, hair dressers…) and due to complete lockdown of the country they were now forced to stay at home. Some of them also lost their job. This has increased the need for basic items such as food and hygiene items.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Tračak Nade

“EVERY PART IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT!” Given the emergency situation, which excludes mass gatherings and events, “Tračak Nade” was an alternative solution to mark World Autism Awareness Day on social media and thus break down prejudices that autism is disease and that children with autism live closed in their world.

Tračak nade wants to highlight their abilities, not their shortcomings, and send the message that they only perceive the world around them differently and that the support of all of us is very important. on autism realized an online creative workshop for members of the Association and volunteers through a video conference. The aim of the workshop was to Tračak Nade Foča volunteers and children with the assistance of parents, siblings, and with the direct instructions of the expert team, make props planned to mark the World days of awareness of autism. The workshop was very successful.In addition to acquiring new practical vj Throughout this workshop, the users encouraged fine motor skills, creativity, attention and concentration. Since both volunteers and a professional team participated in the workshop, the feeling of loneliness due to social isolation was significantly reduced. Although all separately from their homes, still with joint effort and creativity, we put together another puzzle, and thus provided support to people from the spectrum of autism.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Youth Center Vermont

A large part of the members of the Roma national minority in BIH live in very difficult conditions. The current epidemic is just an additional burden for them. Little or no regular income, lack of information, poor hygiene, are just some of them. Activists of Youth Center “Vermont” within which the Day Center was working (until the decision on temporary suspension due to preventing the spread of the epidemic), visited some of the Roma families to whom they handed out food and hygiene packages of one-time assistance, adhering to the measures and regulations of the Department for security. “For us, this is just a continuation of the activities we work on every day. In our organization, young and hard-working Roma also work. Our Day Center was visited daily by a large number of children. Since we cannot work with groups at the moment, we decided to visit them, symbolically help, and provide some kind of help and solidarity in these equally difficult times for all of us”, said Damir Radenković, director of the Vermont Youth Center from Brčko.

In many families, due to the lack of the Internet and appropriate computers, phones or tablets, children do not even attend classes, and parents are said to be fighting for a piece of bread.

“My wife and I live in one room with five children, the oldest of whom has nine and the youngest, three months old. Until recently, we lived, or rather survived, from collecting secondary raw materials. There is no such thing now. We almost don’t have anything to eat, and we don’t even think about gloves and masks”, says Saban Omerovic from the Brcko settlement of Brodusa.

A similar fate is shared by their neighbors. Mehmed Salihović has six children. The eldest daughter is twelve years old and the youngest child is five months old. next to them are his parents, brothers and sisters, so that fourteen of them live in one household.

“I have an uncle in Germany who sometimes sends us something so that we can somehow survive. I would like to thank Vermont, because any help is really good for us”, emphasizes Salihović.

In addition to multi-member families, Vermont activists have not forgotten the Roma couple from the settlement of Prutača, who are preparing for the IVF procedure.

“We are certainly grateful for your help and support. My wife and I live in alternative accommodation. We have arranged it as much as possible”, says Samir Hokić, who also until recently was engaged in the resale of secondary raw materials.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Womens Rights Center

The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus also forced the Womens Rights Center to focus all its activities on working from home. They continued to fulfill our obligations, such as working with users, which we perform electronically. Psychological counseling takes place online and gives valid results. Users can contact Womens Rights Center by phone, at +382 67 166 800, on weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. The Womens Rights Center participated in the BEZBJEDNA DOMA campaign, which is part of the national OSTANI DOMA campaign, launched to prevent the spread of the new corona virus in Montenegro. They implemented the BEZBJEDNA DOMA campaign together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro, the Police Directorate and non-governmental organizations that are members of the Operational Team for Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence: SOS Nikšić, Safe Women’s House, SOS Podgorica and the Center for Roma Initiatives.
During the implementation of measures against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Womens Rights Center, within the regional project “Promotion of Women’s Labor Rights”, which is carried out by the NGO “Kosovo Women’s Network“, conducted a campaign to protect women’s labor rights measure. The campaign is implemented with the financial support of the European Union and is co-financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). In addition to the Center for Women’s Rights, partners in the Coalition against Discrimination on the territory of our country are the Media Union of Montenegro and the Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro.
Womens Rights Center noticed an increase in violence during the duration of the measures and thus we received a larger number of calls in March and April. We have spoken on these topics in numerous media. Regardless of the extraordinary circumstances, the Womens Rights Center operated at almost full capacity, implementing its programs and plans, as well as regular communication with relevant international and national institutions and beneficiaries of our professional assistance and support to women at risk of various forms of violence. We have also provided our customers with help packages with basic necessities.
It was also shown in the conditions of narrowing, ie. absence of direct communication, that their activity is irreplaceable within the entire system of protection and assistance to women in need.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Association for Democratic Prosperity ZID

The work of the Association for Democratic Prosperity ZID during the COVID-19 pandemic In accordance with the measures prescribed by the Government of Montenegro, regarding the COVID19 pandemic, the work of ADP ZID changed its work regime by switching from office to online mode. In order to adapt to the situation in which the whole world finds itself, our service in which we work with gambling addicts and those who gamble at a problematic level has continued to function, but in the form of online counseling sessions through the application “Viber” and “Zoom”. The members of our team continued to follow the needs of our society in their homes and accordingly worked on the projects they received, in a slightly changed environment, but just as well as they have done so far. At the same time, adapting to the situation we found ourselves in, the rest of the ADP ZID team continued to organize a series of activities for this year, and one of those activities is the “i2space challenge days” challenge. By organizing this challenge, we offer young people, whose plans for seasonal work have been changed due to the new situation with the new Corona virus, or have lost their jobs, do not know what to do when the situation in the country stabilizes, the opportunity to have an idea of ​​what to do next. , they develop with the help of a series of awards that we give them. With regular “Zoom” meetings, ADP ZID, with an innovative and team spirit, managed to confront the Corona virus, and to continue its activities as it did before the situation with COVID19.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Sensus

In the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis situation, the Sensus Center has focused its capacity on organizing online education for parents of children on how to cope with isolation, especially targeting parents of primary school children. Sensus capacities are also focused on the preparation of online training for members of the network “The common story” on the topic “Creating guidelines for monitoring and protection of children’s rights in primary education in Mostar” within the project “Equal rights, egual education” ‘. Through project activities, they organize online counseling and support for their 25 volunteers. “Be conscientious, taking care of your health, caring for the health of others. Be gentle and supportive to yourself in times of isolation, and support for others”, said Sensus.

Iris Network COVID19 reaction stories – Center for Roma Initiatives

In accordance with the decision of the Government of Montenegro dated 16 March 2020, due to the Corona virus pandemic, Center for Roma Initiatives Nikšić introduced several necessary measures, one of which is on-call to the landline from 08:00 to 16:00 ha thereafter. re-routing to executive coordinator number, a mobile psychological counseling hotline was also introduced for victims of domestic violence 24 h.

Members of the organization at this time provide the service of a confidential person for victims of domestic violence.

The organization is involved in the Home Security Campaign conducted by the Ministry of internal affairs, which provides a hotline for victims of domestic violence.

Also, a local mediator of our organization in Podgorica has been continuously sewing protective masks for the Roma and Egyptian communities since the start of the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Activists and volunteers of the Center for Roma Initiatives participated in several food and hygiene packages with the coordination of the Red Cross.

In an interview with the News, the Center for Roma Initiatives called for the disinfection of Roma and Egyptian settlements in Niksic. Rapid response of PE “Water Supply and Sewerage” disinfection in several Roma and Egyptian settlements.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic start, the organization has been informing the general public about the current state of the community and urging the provision of emergency hygiene and nutrition packages for the Roma and Egyptian communities in Montenegro.