Celebration of local actions results supported within ACT

Local actions results within ACT were celebrated yesterday in Lava Nova in Belgrade. Those results were achieved within two grant schemes – Local advocacy grants and Community boost grants. On that occasion, representatives of twenty supported associations from all over Serbia gathered. Those associations in the previous year or six months, worked on the adoption of strategies for young people, the representation of women in local communities, social entrepreneurship, taxi transportation services for people with disabilities, procedures for dealing with emergency situations, better environmental conditions, day care centers for the demented, the rights of children with rare diseases, the rights of cyclists and many other initiatives.

Ms.Melina Papageorgiou, first secretary of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and Ms. Snezana Misic Mihajlovic, international team leader of the ACT project, addressed the audience at the very beginning. In her speech, Melina referred to the achievements of grantees who managed to change the conditions of their fellow citizens, as was the case in Smederevo through the “Energy Efficiency of Households” initiative and „Let women be heard“ in Pirot. Namely, ProTok 21 managed to secure an increase in subsidies for citizens in the amount of 5 million dinars and “Women of the South” in Pirot, who managed to get greater representation of women in local communities. Snezana pointed out that local action is the energy that moves the local community and that through the process of advocacy, change occurs through the mobilization of citizens, signature collection, round tables, meetings with decision makers, media monitoring and other activities that are carried out.

After the presentation of the results and the awarding of certificates of appreciation, a panel discussion was held on the importance of mentoring support and strengthening the capacity of the association during the duration of the projects, which was provided in partnership with the Trag Foundation. Mr Boban Stojanovic, mentor for youth policy projects, Ms Snezana Stojanovic, mentor for social inclusion projects and Mr Vladimir Radojicic, mentor for environmental protection projects took part in the discussion. They talked about lessons learned, best practices and challenges and what could have been better in the process. A special emphasis was placed on the „project speech“, which must be adapted to the citizens in order to become more actively involved and interested in the important topics that the associations deal with. Representatives of the association actively participated in the discussion, after which an appropriate cocktail was served.