News Archive 2019

Help starts new programme in Support to socio-economic stability in the western Balkans region 2019-2020

With financial support from the German government Help started a new programme to support the socio-economic stability in Bosnia and Hercegowina, Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro.

In Montenegro this programme comprises 3 components:

Project component I: Provision of durable housing solutions

The project component in Montenegro is implemented in close cooperation with the municipalities of Niksic, Danilovgrad and Bijelo Polje.

The construction of 2 prefabricated buildings in Niksic has already started in 2018 and will be completed within this new project. 12 newly built flats in the 2 buildings will provide adequate and dignified living conditions for 12 families presently accommodated in barracks in Kapino Polje settlement in Niksic. The beneficiaries of these housing units are social cases, mostly without any income, with multiple health and social problems, which are multiplying on daily basis due to inadequate living conditions. In these families, there are many children with developmental disorders, single parents, psychiatric patients and people with disabilities with first category disability.

The municipality of Danilovgrad has undertaken a number of activities in order to provide durable and sustainable housing solutions for the care of families in state of social need and the most vulnerable categories of displaced and internally displaced persons not covered by the Regional Housing Program living in the territory of Danilovgrad Municipality. Within this programe component a building in Danilovgrad will be adapted in order to create 12 flats. The problem of permanent care for the most vulnerable families has been evident for many years. These families presently live in dilapidated houses that are not suitable for living. The urgency of finding solutions has been recognized both by the municipality of Danilovgrad as well as by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Two of the flats will be allocated via the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to 3 orphaned children who are forced to leave the orphanage in Bijela upon reaching the age of 18.

Both, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare as well as the municipality of Danilovrad have committed themselves to contribute also financially to the construction of the 12 apartments.

The municipality of Bijleo Polje confirmed their desire and need for support in the realization of the project “Construction of housing for the accommodation of Roma families in Bijelo Polje in the period from 2019-2020 years”, which will enable them to solve and improve living conditions of vulnerable Roma in the municipality and thus to provide long-term solution of a high quality. It is planned to construct 2 buildings with 10 flats for vulnerable Roma families. In order to stress their determination to arrive at a dignified solution for the housing problems of the Roma population the municipality of Bijelo Polje expressed the readiness of the Municipality to participate in the co-financing of this project.

Project component II- Improvement of the treatment programs in correctional institutions for adults  

The Work Sector of the Correctional Facility is an integral part of the overall activities of the Institute for Execution of Criminal Sanctions aimed at achieving the re-socialization and reintegration of the prisoners into the society. The working engagement of prisoners involves working in the Service for the maintenance of facilities, machinery and equipment as well as in production, which is divided into agricultural and workshop production. Agricultural production within the Institute for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions was organized in the field of poultry, cattle breeding and pig-farming. The prisoners are engaged for these jobs, and the obtained products are used for the prison’s needs, as well as for further sale on the Montenegrin market (this mostly applies to carpentry products and sale of eggs in the Egg Store at the entrance to the Institution). In workshop production, prisoners are engaged in carpentry, locksmith’s, carving, tailoring and hairdressing workshops. Help has commenced cooperation with the correctional institution in 2018 when a facility for chicken for the production of eggs was built and 10 inmates received professional training in various professions.

The Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for Execution of Criminal Sanctions envisages measures concerning treatment, labor and employment. One of the strategic measures is the expansion of working activities for prisoners within the prison system, including the modernization and procurement of the necessary equipment for opening new and reconstructing old workshops. It also envisages the improvement of the economic directorate and the working directorate: the establisment of a working directorate that will manage the work, offering jobs in each prison, as well as school and professional development.

Within the new programme it is foressen to organize training for 10 prisoners (5 cooks and 5 gardeners) in cooperation with the Center for Adult Education. Cooks and gardeners are two of the professions in Montenegro for whom exists a great demand. The training would last for at least 3 months and would involve theoretical and practical training by licensed instructors, after which the prisoners would get a certificate. In addition, the correctional institute will receive equipment allowing for increased agricultural production.

Help started cooperation with and support of correctional institutions in 2014 in Serbia. In order to demonstrate the potential and good experiences made in the prisons in Serbia it is planned to organize for the staff of the prison in Spuž a field visit to the prisons in Niš and Sremska Mitrovica. This will enable them to make further plans for development of their institution.

Project component III: Facilitating access to health, employment and social services for RE population

Roma and Egyptians are the most vulnerable national minority in Montenegro that has always been, and is still today, discriminated against. With some 8.500 RE living in Montenegro they are the third largest minority group in the country. The general difficulties that face this population group include: poor living conditions, health problems, unemployment, poverty, social problems and educational difficulties.

Help has successfully introduced the system of RE Health Mediators in Montenegro. 2 RE Health Mediators in Podgorica have already been incorporated into the Montenegrin health system and are now on the budget of the Ministry of Health. Within an EU funded project that started in December 2016 Help has extended the network of RE Mediators by recruiting and training RE Mediators for health in Niksic and Berane. The RE Mediator for health in Berane is already working from within the public Health post in Berane and will be funded in 2019 onwards through the budget of the Ministry of Health.

In addition, RE Mediators for Employment and Social Inclusion were introduced in Podgorica, Niksic and Berane. The introduction of RE Mediators will ensure the overall improvement of the situation of RE population as main target groups and strengthen state and local governments’ technical and management capacities to continue strengthening the position of RE population in the Montenegrin society. Within the new programme it is foreseen to continue with the work engagement of the Mediators for employment and social affairs in Podgorica and Niksic as well as with the Mediator for Health in Niksic.

The total value of this regional programme amounts to Euro 3.590.000. The share of Montenegro in this programme amounts to Euro 586.510.