Today, The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in Western Balkans (ReLOaD) project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, has awarded financial grants to ten Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Istog/k, Lipjan/Lipljan, and Viti/Vitina municipalities. The awarded CSOs competed in a public call with development-oriented and project-based proposals aiming to contribute to the achievement of the municipalities priorities and ensure greater benefits for local communities.

In Istog/k, the selected projects will work to raise awareness and capacities among young high school students for active citizenship and participation in decision-making processes with focus on environmental protection. This will stimulate local economic development for young people and women, focusing on medical and aromatic plants cultivation, as well as enhancing informal education for women in the ICT-field.

In Lipjan/Lipljan, the awarded initiatives will strengthen the local economy by empowering women and young people in the business sector. This will happen through professional business plan trainings, launching a platform for promotion of local products and brands, as well as raising awareness and contribute to youth participation in culture and sport.

Finally, the local initiatives in Viti/Vitina will contribute to develop women’s professional skills in food processing, raise awareness and educate people with disabilities regarding their rights and opportunities, as well as promote inter-community reconciliation and tolerance through sports.

Welcoming remarks were held by Mr. Libor Chlad, Deputy Head of Cooperation, European Union Office in Kosovo, and Ms. Alessandra Roccasalvo, UNDP Resident Representative.

Mr. Libor Chlad, Deputy Head of Cooperation, European Union Office in Kosovo, emphasized: “We believe that this is the right thing to do, we have been looking at several areas for Kosovo to advance in the stabilisation agreement. It is important for us, that no one is left behind, that everyone benefits from the opportunity. In that respect CSOs at the local level play an essential role”.

Ms. Alessandra Roccasalvo, UNDP Resident Representative, said: “The ReLOaD project is something highly innovative for us normally as an agency we work very much at the central level I think the paradigm shift in development is focused on local level. In a small place like Kosovo, not everyone can live in Prishtina.

I believe that municipalities are really of paramount importance in making Kosovo a success story. People want to live where they are from, or with their family. So here, we are working on that, with civil society, so that we can increase the variety and level of services offered, and It increases the trust of the population in the civic process”.

Mayor of Lipjan, Mr. Imri Ahmeti, took the floor on behalf of partner municipalities. “Im here to confirm your contribution and your help, I believe that this will have a big impact for civil society in llipjan. Particularly strengthening the role of civil society, with a focus on women and the youth.”

The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans is a 3-year regional initiative funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP, with a focus on strengthening partnerships between local governments and civil society organizations by introducing and sustaining a model of transparent and project-based funding of CSOs from municipal budgets. In Kosovo, the project works with five municipalities (Istog/k, Kamenicë/a, Lipjan/Lipljan, Viti/Vitina, and Zveçan/Zvečan), aiming to reinforce participatory democracy at the local level, expand effective relations between local governments and CSOs, as well as to improve the quality of CSOs services.

The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP.

 

For more information, please contact:

Burbuqe Dobranja, UNDP Communications Associate

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 410; mobile: 049 720 800; e-mail: burbuqe.dobranja@undp.org

Danijela Mitić, UNDP Communication Analyst

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 412; mobile: 049 720 824; e-mail: danijela.mitic@undp.org

Fatmire Terdevci, the Office of the European Union in Kosovo

Phone: (038) 5131 517; email: fatmire.terdevci@ext.eeas.europa.eu

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