Meeting of cities and municipalities and a round table on the development of social services at the local level
Last week, as part of a two-day study visit to Novi Pazar, we realized two important events within the Reintegration II project.
On the first day, there was a meeting between cities and municipalities partners in the Reintegration II project. The City of Novi Pazar hosted representatives of local governments, centers for social work and citizens’ associations from Krusevac, Pirot and Dimitrovgrad. Presentation of the economic, social and tourist capacities of the City of Novi Pazar was held. The implemented and planned activities of the Reintegration II project were presented, within which, from the beginning of 2023, 11 companies from Novi Pazar received subsidies for the employment of 22 beneficaires, 12 families received equipment and support for the improvement of raspberry production, and by the end of the project it is expected that more than 40 new beneficiaries receive support to their employment. Our local implementation partner Merhamet Sandzak presented the activities that take place within the psycho-social support component. Within this component, since the beginning of the project, 132 workshops have been held in the Good Neighbor Club, in which more than 250 participants, mostly from the returnee population, took part.
On the second day, the event was held in the form of a round table, on the topic of the development of the system of social protection services at the local level. We were joined by participants from local self-governments of Kragujevac and Ivanjica, as well as representatives of the IRIS network, in order to discuss local needs and examples of good practice through the exchange of experience, such as the development of shelter services for children and youth.
We convey the conclusion of today’s event through the statement of Igor Kojcic, manager of the Reintegration II project:
“There is a serious assessment, serious planning, the readiness of the local self-government and the Center for Social Work to deal with this, no small challenge and the needs that exist. It is important that the shelter, if we do it as part of the Reintegration project, and I hope we will, has regional capacity. With this, children who are not only from Novi Pazar and who need to be protected and temporarily stationed in a shelter could be taken care of.”
The project “Reintegration II – further support for the sustainable (re)integration of returnees in Serbia” is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ. The project lead is ASB SEE (Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund), the main implementing partner is IDC, and the beneficiary districts of the project are Pirotski, Rasinski and Raski.