130,000 EUR for support to Civil Society Organizations

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Fund for Active Citizenship –fAKT has organized presentation of “De Facto Strong” program, supported through IPA 2013 Civil Society Facility Montenegro Program, funded by EU Delegation to Montenegro.

Objective of the program is to support the capacity building of small CSOs to participate in community development and provide services to citizens in Montenegro, with focus on territory outside Podgorica.

– 40 organizations of civil society (CSO) have attended nine-day training program through a 3 modular training, on the topic of organizational and strategic development, increasing transparency and accountability of CSOs, strategic public advocacy and policy development and development of networks and coalitions. Out of 40 CSOs, 21 organization received financial support in amount 5-10.000 EUR, sub-grant – said the director of Fund for Active Citizenship, Anica Maja Boljevic.

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FAKT has supported 265 projects since its establishment in 2008, in total amount of 1.326,116 EUR. Through this program, 130,000 EUR was distributed to CSOs from 12 municipalities of Montenegro.

As announced during the presentation, the EU Delegation in Montenegro is constantly looking for ways to make EU funding for Montenegrin CSOs as inclusive as possible.

– We all agree that the work of civil society contributes to the strengthening of fundamental values that lie at the heart of the EU. Freedom of expression, free media, respect for minorities, good governance, human rights, are all critical building blocks to constructing the Montenegrin participatory democracy, said Romain Boitard from the EU Delegation to Montenegro.

– Montenegrin CSOs are involved, with EU funding, in various areas such as policy analysis, advocacy, monitoring of government action, delivery of social services, or support to central and local governments in creating or improving public goods. This being said, several of these activities are still ad hoc, are largely donor driven, and often respond to EU requests.

– This event demonstrates how EU’s civil society funds do reach out to the smaller, community-based organizations also. Since 2009 sub-granting has become an integral part of civil society CfP launched by the EU Delegation. “We have recognized its great potential in addressing the overall needs of the broad civil society sector in Montenegro” – said Boitard.

He emphasized the concern of the EU with issues of sustainability for the civil society and has invited CSOs to make the best of the opportunity they have to develop skills and acquire the new knowledge, to network and to increase their organization’s identity. “Fund-raising is a job, even in a small country like Montenegro, CSOs must dedicate some of their resources to ensuring their viability. Because it is a job, it requires certain skills and competences that go beyond writing the perfect proposal “– concluded Boitard.

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During this occasion, three projects supported through “De Facto Strong” program, were selected to present their projects: Association for Development of Civil Society –Bijelo Polje, Civic Creative Center –Cetinje and Association of parents of children and youth with disabilities “Snail shell” from Budva.

Association for Development of Civil Society is a non-profit association of citizens from Bijelo Polje, founded in 2003.

– Within “De Facto Strong” program they are implementing the project “Capacity development of organization for service provision to citizens of Bijelo Polje”. Target group of this project are members and volunteers of the association, represents of local authorities, Centre for Social Welfare, Daily Centre “Tisa”, Employment Bureau and media – said coordinator of this association, Mirsala Tomic.

Planned project activities are related to organizing and implementation of training for strategic plan, and its development, designing and distribution of informative material and realization of study visit.

– Until now, we have realized training for 10 members and volunteers of organization on the topic of strategic development. Realization of this project will be finished on October 10th, 2015 – concluded Tomic.

Civic Creative Center from Cetinje is a youth organization which deals with improvement of youth status and resolving of issues that this population faces. “CreActive” is the title of the project supported through “De Facto Strong” program and its objective is to motivate and educate young people to become active members of the community. This organization is also monitoring the implementation of youth policy at local level, giving concrete recommendations for its improvement.

– With this project we have planned to improve cooperation with the municipalities of Cetinje, Kotor and Tivat through capacity development and networking of formal and informal group of youth, including local offices for youth, in the field of youth policies and activism. From all three towns we have included 15 young people per each in project implementation, and they will have the opportunity to attend the trainings on the following topics: action planning, capacity development and youth policy. Afterwards all of them will have the opportunity to present in their towns the results achieved until now – said Dejana Dizdar from this organization.

Association of parents of children and youth with disabilities “Snail shell” from Budva was established in the beginning of 2013, on the initiative of eight parents of children with disabilities from this town.

– Lack of support services for these children and youth with disabilities in Budva and their difficult status in the community resulted with the establishment of the “Snail shell”. Today, after two years, we have 29 members – said coordinator of this organization, Natasa Anastasov.

As she said, the objective of this project is to enhance service delivery for children with disabilities in Budva, through organizational capacity strengthening.

– Organization of workshops for members and volunteers of the association on the topic of IT, children and internet, psychological support workshops, are some of activities that this organization have successfully implemented – added Anastasov.