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FORS Montenegro team
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In the period from February 2007 to August 2008, FORS Montenegro successfully implemented the project Improvement of Reproductive Health, funded by European Union, through European Agency for Reconstruction.
The project consisted of three components:
These components included numerous activities such as:
The overall objective of the project was to improve reproductive health status of women and adolescents from northern Montenegro.
FORS Montenegro provided the business support services to Europe and Eurasia Infrastructure Reform and Funds Project that is implemented by Segura IP3. Business support includes provision of technical assistance with presenting and promoting the Europe & Eurasia Infrastructure Reform & Finance project to FORS Montenegro strategic partners and networking with them, as well as with local stakeholders, by providing assistance on PR activities and by processing of all cash and bank transfer payments for expenses incurred by the project, to maintain financial records of all transactions, and to ensure that all financial transactions are documented in accordance with donors regulations. Besides that FORS Montenegro provides fully furnished office space, office supplies, communications, courier, and other support services that are required.
Project was initiated through program of creating public spaces with a methodology that is used by PPS organization (Project for Public Spaces) from NYC, and which was adopted by FORS Montenegro. Project was implemented in the framework of CHF Local Economic Development program CRDA-E funded by USAID that is conducted in the North of Montenegro by FORS Montenegro. Total value of 10 portable market stalls laid out was around 14,500 EUR, out of which 6,500 EUR was funded by USAID, and the rest was supported by the municipality Niksic. Project improved the quality of average resident life, and contributed to the dovelopment of local economy.
Despite the fact that women from Northern Montenegro possess skills in handicrafts that have been developed through centuries, their talent and hard work is not valued. There are several reasons for this: 1) Most women producing handicrafts do not have the financial assets to invest in needed material and machines; and 2) These women also have limited business management and marketing skills which also constrains their ability to improve their income. In addition to that, the current supply of locally produced handicrafts is very weak in northern Montenegro, even in the tourist destinations that are recognized as an excellent potential market for this kind of production.
UNESCO, in partnership with local organizations and other international donors, the opportunity to connect talented women, to produce traditional handicrafts with real demand in the local tourist market, provide this combination of factors. Through the IPISPG project, FORS Montenegro proposes to assist women in the National Park Durmitor area to produce handicrafts that are consistent with this demand by providing up-to-date equipment, high quality materials and training in product development and basic marketing. Further, by connecting these women to local markets through connecting them to key partners within the National Park Durmitor, the Municipality and Zabljak and others.
Project goal is to improve the economic opportunity for women in the National Park Durmitor area.
The result of the project is to provide marketing training and training for loom usage for women (to begin producing woven handicrafts), procurement of looms and material for producing carpets and other traditional handicrafts, creation of brochures and enable them to participate on handicrafts fair to exhibit their products.
NGO “Viva Vita” of Pljevlja is a non-governmental organization formed to assist women in Pljevlja area to improve their livelihoods. The organization currently has 26 members, 20 members of the Association have experience in producing handicrafts. This project (IPISGP) will provide them with a much needed opportunity to improve their skills in handicrafts and their knowledge of basic marketing and management in order to improve the livelihoods of their members.
Additional women from the National Park Durmitor Area, mostly form Pljevlja will be invited to participate in all training activities in addition to being encouraged to participate in ongoing “Viva Vita” activities.
Partners in project are:
UNESCO contributed funds for much-needed equipment and materials to NGO “Viva Vita” so that they may initiate handicrafts production in addition to funding the design and distribution of brochures and participation in handicraft fairs.
CHF provided complementary funds toward staff time and key trainings in product design, basic marketing and management by regional partners CEFE Montenegro.
National Park Durmitor is a key partner in the UNESCO led IPISPG. During the recent study tour to the National Park Dolomites, the representative of the National Park agreed to provide shelf space in the park souvenir shop for handicrafts produced by the Association. The National Park provided space in their display area to the NGO “Viva Vita” for exhibition on 8th of March.
Municipality of Pljevlja provided a contribution by obtaining a space for conducting loom training and housing the equipment and materials for the first 6 months depending of women engagement/ work.