PODGORICA, 20 July, 2017 – The EU Info Centre today hosted a ceremony for the signing of contracts with grantees within the regional ‘SOCIETIES’ project that is being implemented in Montenegro by Caritas Montenegro and the Association of Paraplegics in Bar, and financed by the European Union.

Six selected projects will be financed from the grant fund for local initiatives, worth altogether €90,000. These are: NGO ‘New Chance in Novi’ from Herceg-Novi – “We Recycle Paper and Employ PWDs”; the Organisation for the Blind of Bar and Ulcinj – “Support Service for the Blind”; Association of Parents of Children and Youth with Special Needs ‘Right to Life’, from Ulcinj – “Developing Skills for a Better Quality of Life”; the Association of the Blind of Montenegro – “Tactile Printing to Inclusion”; the Association of Paraplegics of Bijelo Polje and Mojkovac – “Disability Is Not an Obstacle”; and the Association of Parents of Children with Special Needs from Bar – “Let’s Grow Flowers and Be Happy”.

“The goal of the grant scheme is to support social services and social entrepreneurship initiatives, which are based on identified needs in local communities, and thus to contribute towards the social inclusion of persons with disabilities and persons with mental health problems,” the co-ordinator of the SOCIETIES project, Marko Đelović, said at the signing ceremony.

The representative of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Miguel Magro Gomez, congratulated the grantees on behalf of the EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav. “For the Delegation and for the European Union it is very important that grassroots organisations, such as yours, are implicated and are implementing projects in the field. You are actually the ones who are essentially helping the EU to be closer to the people,” Gomez said.

He reminded that the EU supports civil society organisations in Montenegro through various projects with four million euros a year, and that the sub-financing schemes within these projects are instruments for solving the real problems that people have.

This grant scheme is a part of the SOCIETIES project, which has been implemented since January 2016 by 15 different organisations from five countries of the region and two partner organisations from the EU – Italy and Bulgaria. Its main goal is to provide support to civil society organisations for acquiring technical skills for the inclusion of persons with disabilities and persons with mental health problems and in achieving EU standards in South-East Europe.