The DPNSEE General Assembly was held on 20 February 2020 in the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade. Representatives of 18 out of 24 member organisations with the voting right and one associate member organisation were present.
The Assembly adopted minutes from the previous Assembly, operational rapport and information about the financial situation and Action plan for 2020 and discussed the situation in the countries of the region.
DPNSEE continued enlarging with new member organizations. Organization HELP from Split, Croatia, was granted ordinary membership. Also, the organisation Čovekoljublje (Philanthropy) from Belgrade, Serbia was granted the status of associate member.
Unfortunately, the Assembly decided that membership of the organisation 4 Life will terminate because of inactivity and failure to pay the ordinary member’s annual fee for the last three years. This organisation is invited to consider applying for associate membership in the Network.
The Assembly elected two new members of the Board: Ilinka Serdarević from Terra, Rijeka, Croatia and Tomaž Koren from the Alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations for Drugs and Addictions in Slovenia. The new President of the Network is Nebojša Djurasović from Prevent, Novi Sad, Serbia, while Vice-President is Denis Dedajić from Margina, Tuzla/Zenica, Bosnia Herzegovina.
The Assembly decided that the Network opens the process of designing the new Statutes. After the member organisations send proposals for the new Statutes, the DPNSEE Board should prepare a draft new Statutes that will be adopted at the electronic Assembly after consultations among the member organisations.
In the thematic part of the Assembly, during afternoon, an external consultant Jarmila Bujak Stanko facilitated the strategic workshop to complete the strategic plan development process.
As the DPNSEE project Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF) through Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) is about to come to an end in April this year, EHRA Financial Director Tatiana Fomicheva and Sustainability and Transition Adviser Ivan Varentsov visited DPNSEE on 17 and 18 April 2019. The purposes of the visit were to make an oversight of the project related documents and provide support with regard to the development of the final financial report.
EHRA representatives had an opportunity to meet with representatives of the national coordinator organisations Margina, Juventas and Prevent and get to know better their achievements and challenges while implementing the project. It was also interesting to discuss lessons learnt, possible next steps and follow up actions. All three indicated that the main issue they faced was lack of information or very slow response to provide them by the authorities. Understanding this obstacle, an agreement was made that DPNSEE and partner organisations will propose to extend the project by September 2019.
Our guests presented us the EHRA activities in the scope of the Global Fund HIV multi-country project, content of the workshop on human rights issues for the Balkan region planned for autumn this year and the Global Fund Community, Rights and Gender Technical Assistance Program. For this occasion, we also invited our colleagues from Serbian partner and member organisations Duga, GAJP, Timok Youth Centre and Čovekoljublje.
For our guests, we also arranged meetings with Dr Jasmina Tanasić, Head of the Department for Social Affairs at the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and Primarius Dr Danijela Simić, Head of Department for HIV infection, STI, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis, Centre for Prevention and Control of Diseases, at the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”.
The visit will help to better document the approach, process and results of our project as well as the lessons learnt. Documenting this our joint experience as a regional best practice and example of small grants to NGOs in recently transitioned of transitioning countries to support their sustainability and transition related advocacy activities can be of benefit to the Sustainability Bridge Funding that is about to be created by a group of international donors led by the OSF.
DPNSEE Vice-President Nebojša Đurasović and Executive Director Milutin Milošević visited “Čovekoljublje” (Philanthropy), the charitable foundation of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Foundation performs emergency (humanitarian) and development programmes. Philanthropy’s basic principle is respect of human rights, reflected in providing assistance to all those in need, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or religious affiliation. It cooperates and is supported by number of institutions: ministries, province and municipal authorities, health care and social welfare institutions, institutes for protection of children and youth deprived of parental care, and series of civil society organisations.
In scope of it’s the Health care and social welfare programmes, Philanthropy initiated a programme providing expertise and voluntary psycho-social support for people living with HIV/AIDS – PLHIV in 2003 with the blessing of Patriarch Pavle. This programme’s main purpose is suppression of social isolation and discrimination of PLHIV, as well as development of voluntary work and public awareness on presence of HIV/AIDS within various social groups.
For some time already, DPNSEE and its member organisations from Serbia actively cooperate with Philanthropy. The visit was an opportunity to exchange about activities and plans with project coordinator Aleksandra Božinović Knežević and generate ides for future cooperation.