World Bank Awards Grants for Eight Civic Engagement Projects in Croatia

June 15, 2010

Zagreb, June 15, 2010 – Eight Croatian non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) received today grants in the amount of US$ 45,000 from the World Bank 2010 Civil Society Fund program (CSF). The grants will help the NGOs implement eight civic engagement projects supporting activities that empower and enable civic society groups to take initiatives and influence development outcomes. The activities also strengthen mechanisms for inclusion, accountability, participation and partnerships with the public sector and other civil society organizations. The Program is also focused on empowerment of marginalized and vulnerable groups in the society.

After carefully reviewing 110 project proposals from NGOs across Croatia, the selection committee selected eight projects and NGOs. This year’s winning projects cover a wide range of civic engagement activities such as: empowering youth and marginalized group and social inclusion of disabled people.

The following NGOs and projects are the winners of this year’s Civil Society Fund program:

Nada – Vrbovec – association for therapeutic and recreational horseback riding will train volunteers as future trainers in therapeutic horseback riding to offer needed therapy to children with special needs, as well as, promote volunteerism among the Vrbovec community youth in order to strengthen the links with the children with special needs. Volunteerism will be promoted through a community awareness raising campaign.

New Word (Novi svijet) – through their project MASLO – small advice for easier child rearing - aims to strengthen parental competences in contemporary education and child rearing with the aim of preventing child abuse within the family, a problem which has become more prominent in the Croatian society during the past decade. Some of the activities included in the project are: promotional activities, lectures for parents, lectures for teachers and experts and radio shows.

Suncokret – Center for Community Development – the goal of the activity is to enhance children’s, youth’s and women’s participation in local development by creating space for participation in the Municipality of Gvozd (area of special state concern) in order to promote mobilization of children, youth and women, increase social inclusion, provide access to information and education and improve their lives through participatory and voluntary activities.

Zvonimir - the aim of project activities is to develop a networking approach in youth violence prevention and social inclusion at local community level in the Knin area. The idea is to involve various stakeholders (youth, parents, social services, teachers and local authorities) in preventing behavior disorders of youth through awareness raising, problem resolution workshops, as well as, organizing an action group to deal with problematic youth.

Women’s Entrepreneurial Center (Ženski poduzetnički centar)’ aims to assist unemployed youth in developing new behavioral patterns, attitudes and opinions which will improve their lives and motivate them to take more responsibility for their future and become more engaged in the local community, through workshops in: social entrepreneurship, developing working ethics, building self-confidence and responsibility etc.

Association of disabled students - KORAK (udruga studenata s invaliditetom KORAK)- to enable blind and visually impaired university students to participate at an equal footing in academic life and for their learning and education opportunities to reach the levels of other students. This will be done through adapting a certain volume of exam literature to the needs of the blind and visually impaired students.

Open Media Group: - ‘Let’s get to know each other’ project will give high-school students of different nationalities, namely Croats and Serbs, in Vukovar the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the two nationalities. This will be done by students working jointly on the production of a documentary film. Teams of boys and girls of both nationalities will develop and produce 4 documentary films in which they will picture a third nationality

Field flower (Poljski cvijet): - the aim is to strengthen the capacities and skills of women and youth with disabilities in Beli Manastir in ascertaining their rights thus offering them enhanced opportunities to integrate into the community. This will be done through a series of workshops for women and youth (assertiveness and confidence building, creative workshops, introducing disabled youth to sports etc.)

The Program, created in 1983, complements and facilitates the social development agenda of the World Bank by providing grants through Country offices to civil society organizations. It is aimed at promoting dialogue and dissemination of information on development and to enhance partnerships with the civil society at the country level. Since the Program’s inception in Croatia in 1999, a total of US$ 364,000 has been awarded and some 106 NGOs have benefited from the Program.

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