At the beginning of the ceremony, Ms Sascha Muller, Head of Governance Unit of the Embassy of Switzerland, Swiss Cooperation Office, Jens Engeli, Regional Director of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation for Eastern Europe, and Maja Stojanovic, Executive Director of Civic Initiatives wished the organisations success in the realisation of their projects.
A total of six grants were awarded to boost local communities in Lajkovac, Surdulica, Bor, Novi Sad, Alibunar and Subotica. The proposed citizen initiatives and actions aim to solve problems of public interest in their local communities with the active participation and support of citizens. Those projects will be implemented over the next six months.
Eight grants were awarded for public advocacy at the local level in Uzice, Nis, Leskovac, Kraljevo, Novi Sad, and Belgrade in the municipalities of Zemun and Stari Grad. The selected projects will help empower civil society to participate in decision and policy making more efficiently and actively through advocacy, and to mobilise the support of citizens and represent their interests in decision-making processes, particularly at the local level. These projects will last for one year.
In addition to financial support for the implementation of their projects, organisations and informal groups of citizens will go through a specially designed and tailored training programme, in order to improve their skills and knowledge in the fields of advocacy and citizen engagement.
The video of the whole ceremony can be found here.
The ACT program is supported by the Government of Switzerland to the tune of EUR 5 million for the period of 2019-2023 and implemented by the Swiss NGO Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and the Belgrade-based NGO Civic Initiatives.