The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) the Closing event of the Call for Project Proposals 2020 “A Better Region Starts with Youth” in Serbia was held on 7 February 2022.
Four organisations from Serbia were supported by the Call. One of them was DPNSEE with the project “No risk, no borders for young people“. From Serbia, our member organisations Prevent and Re Generacija were partners in the project.
Stefan Pejić from Re Generacija participated in the panel presenting his experience from the project and how it influenced work of his organisation.
President od “Prevent” Nebojša Đurasović (also DPNSEE President) was invited by the Nova S TV station to the discussion about legalisation of sex work in Serbia. Other guests in the TV show “Between Us” were Andrijana Radojčić Nedeljković from the non-governmental organization Atina and Blažo Marković, president of the Union of Police and Police Officers.
Nebojša promoted the approach that as the first step it would be important to decriminalise sex work. That would allow those involved to get health and other kinds of protection.
The regional meeting on “Children Who Use Drugs“, organised on 28 April by the Healthy Options Project Skopje (HOPS), was dedicated to exchanging experiences and sharing good practices in the region related to the problems and challenges faced by countries and civil society organizations in working with children and young people who use drugs, such as the availability of health and social programs for young people and children who use drugs.
Presentations on the topic had Liljana Ignjatova, Ph.D., Professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje, Department of Psychiatry, and Head of the Centre for Prevention and Treatment of Drug Addiction, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Eranda Berisha from Centre for Social Work Pristina, Kosovo*, Skerdi Zahaj, consultant in “Initiative for Social Change” ARSIS from Albania, Marija Mijović social worker at the NGO Juventas from Montenegro and Denis Dedajić from NGO Margina from Bosnia Herzegovina.
From the presentations of all speakers, it can be concluded that the rate of children and young people using drugs and other psychoactive substances is increasing. Health and other relevant institutions do not have an adequate answer to this question. In all countries in the region there is a complete lack of appropriate treatment programs for children who use drugs.
Recommendations from the meeting include:
Use good practices from countries where there are programs to treat and care for children and young people who use drugs
Prepare and adopt appropriate programs for the treatment of children and young people who use drugs
Strengthen partnerships between CSOs and health and social institutions in policymaking and provision of services for children using drugs
The project “The Role of CSOs in the Western Balkans in Providing Social Services and Preventing Social Exclusion” is funded by SIDA – Swedish International Development Agency, through the Balkan Civil Society Development Network.
The project is implemented regionally in six Western Balkan countries, including ARSIS Youth Support Social Organization (Albania), Asocijacija Margina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), HOPS (Northern Macedonia), Qendra Labyrinth (Kosovo), Prevent (Serbia), NVO Juventas (Montenegro).
25 activists, youth leader and youth workers, preferably members of civil society organisations
Aged 18 to 28
Young people from or those working with the youth from groups at increased risk
Interested in learning how to cooperate in multicultural settings
Able to communicate and write in English
Willing to work as multipliers of experience and results through visibility and dissemination activities, before, during the project actitivies, including the reporting phase, and after the project
A participants group with an appropriate geographic, gender, national and balance of members from or working with various groups of youth at risk
What we expect from the participants:
Complete pre-tasks and participate in the follow-up activities of the project
Attend all sessions and activities during the both Workshops
Agree and understand that the project partners are responsible and coordinators for this project and will not challenge or create any issues that will influence its flow
Bring along personal items as requested by the organisers of the activities (i.e. clothes, shoes, medicins in case of health issues, etc.)
Participate in promoting visibility of the project
Participate in the production of the deliverables of the project
Be active on dissemination of the results as a multiplier of new experiences, info and knowledge
Provide all necessary documents (invoices, visa expenses, travel reservations, ID copies, boarding passes, etc)
The structure of the project workshops is highly intensive and demanding, plus requires full attendance and participation. The workshops starts at 9:30 am and will end around 8:00 pm with regular breaks for refreshments, meals and personal needs. Therefore, youths who will attend as participants need to show responsibility commitment during their participation. The topic of the project is related to many indoor activities and less outdoor. Any extra hours for touring around besides the free time as they are mentioned in the timetable are not eligible.
If the protection measures in the countries where the activities are held prohibit gatherings of large groups, the Workshops 1 and 2 will be provided online.
Also, work with youth from groups at increased risk during the project may be challenging, but the project partners will provide support from experienced staff.
If interested, the Open Call is available following this link>>>. Please, share this information as wide as possible around the region.
The application forms is available at the web pages and social media of the project partners. Each project partner is eligible to select up to 5 participants in the project.
DPNSEE was one of 4 organisations from Serbia which signed the contract with the (RYCO) for implementation of projects in scope of the 4th Open Call “A Better Region Starts with Youth”. The Call is financially supported by the European Union. The Contracting Meeting was held on 23 February 2021 in the Human Rights House (Kuća ljudskih prava), in Belgrade.
During the signing ceremony, the welcoming remarks were delivered by the Head of Information, Communication and Press at the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia Mr Paul-Henri Presset, the Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Marija Bulat, Youth Representative in the RYCO Governing Board Mr Marko Kostić and the Assistant Minister for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Serbia Mr Uroš Pribićević.
Other three projects supported will be implemented by Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina, Red Cross of Vojvodina and Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.
The selected projects will enable development of youth-led processes of intercultural dialogue and reconciliation in the Western Balkans, and the development of social capital among young people by strengthening the competences of young people and those who work with them.
Moreover, the projects are important for furthering implementation capacities of CSOs using a learning-by-doing approach, with special focus on increasing capacities to adapt and remain operational during COVID-19 pandemic situations and imposed safety measures. The supported projects standout as creative and innovative proposals, including online components or online focus.
The DPNSEE project “No Risk, no borders for young people” will strive to contribute to the efforts of the reconciliation processes in the WB countries and stronger youth participation in CSOs by developing and supporting regional youth cooperation focused on youth at risk, as its desirable overall impact/change.
It will be implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia in partnership with our member organisations Aksion Plus, Margina, Juventas,Prevent and Re Generation.
The video from the signing ceremony is available at the Youtube channel of the EU delegation in Serbia
The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) opened its Fourth Open Call intended to support and empower partnerships between civil society organizations, secondary schools and other actors in implementing activities in the areas of regional youth cooperation, mobility and exchange; and enabling environment for regional youth cooperation. The general objective of this call for proposals is to support the civil society in the Western Balkans to foster reconciliation and regional youth cooperation during COVID-19 pandemic by providing young people with opportunities that create space for dialogue, mutual learning and increased understanding across communities and RYCO Contracting Parties, as well as contribute to increasing capacities of CSOs in offering meaningful opportunities to young people in a changed reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Call was closed at midnight on 12 October 2020.
DPNSEE and its member organisations Aksion Plus (Albania), Margina (Bosnia Herzegovina), Juventas (Montenegro), Prevent and Re Generacija (Serbia) prepared the project proposal No Risk, no borders for young people. Our project will strive to contribute to the efforts of the reconciliation processes in the WB countries and stronger youth participation in CSOs by developing and supporting regional youth cooperation focused on youth at risk, as its desirable overall impact/change. The project is strongly focused on marginalized youth groups that are in our context defined as youth at risk consisting of young people who use drugs, sex workers, LGBTI population, youth in conflict with the law and others addressed as “youth with alternative lifestyles and identities”.
We are awaiting December 2020 and some good news from RYCO!
Together with our member organisations Prevent and Re Generation, DPNSEE have prepared information and instructions for protection against coronavirus in Serbian for people in risk from vulnerable populations we support. We used several sources: INPUD, Leafly,Crew and BesD.
The instructions are printed in 500 – 2.000 copies to share to the key populations.
These instructions will be available in various institutions and civil society organisations in Serbia. We expect that they will be adjusted to local languages in some other countries of South East Europe.
On the initiative from civil society organisations, following the DPNSEE Public appeal to protect vulnerable groups from coronavirus COVID-19, a meeting was called by the Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of Republic of Serbia to discuss the measures to protect people who use drugs and other connected vulnerable groups. The meeting was held on 13 March with representatives of the Office, Ministry of Health, Special Hospital for Addictions and four civil society organisations.
All participants agreed that vulnerable groups need to be supported for their personal and protection of the entire society. Conclusions include
By noon on Monday 16 all service providers will send estimations of their needs for materials they need to protect the key populations they serve and their staff. The Office for Combating Drugs will collect them and send a joint request to the Ministry of social affairs. Once they are provided, they will be distributed to the organisations.
The Office will also request for an information about the needs of the shelters for children, young people and elderly and try to organise support to them.
Funds for the additional support will be requested from the project supported by the Global Fund and Ministry of Health, at least for the staff supporting the key affected populations.
Civil society organisations are preparing specific instructions for people who use drugs and other vulnerable populations and share them both through social networks and printed materials.
The Alliance for Public Health engaged a group of experts to perform a brief assessment of the latest experiences in the Serbia on financing civil society organisations with national funds, including the Global Fund national grant, and to plan on the national level for the sustainability strategy and concrete steps.
The experts visited Serbia from 16 to 20 December and held a serial of meetings with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Health Insurance Fund, CSOs and other stakeholders. At the last day of the mission, the concluding stakeholder consultation with presentation of preliminary findings was conducted.
The visit was organized by DPNSEE member organization Timočki omladinski centar, who is the national lead of the multi-country project implemented by the consortium led by the Alliance. Representatives of DPNSEE and our other member organisations Prevent and Duga also contributed at the meetings.