- Youth Law
- Youth Employment
- Education Program
- Teacher Trainings
National Youth Action Plan (NYAP)
Although the process of creating the first National Youth Action Plan in Montenegro (2006-2011) is characterised as rarely participatory process, unfortunately, after the strategy expired in 2011, it was not until 2015 that evaluation of strategy implementation was done, and that finally process of new strategy creation started after the 4-year break. Working group which will consist of representatives of relevant institutions and three representatives of NGO sectors, among which the representative of Forum MNE, is formed. Simultaneously, a good framework is also given by the fact that the first Youth Law is established in Montenegro and its adoption is expected to be by the end of 2015, since the whole process has lasted over two years. We hope that the law, although it is not binding by nature, will encourage all important actors to create structured youth services – both at national and local levels.
National Youth Action Plan (2006-2011)
Forum MNE, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Montenegro and NGO Catholic Relief Service in Montenegro initiated the process of drafting National Youth Action Plan (NYAP) in 2004 as a fundamental document for creation of national youth policy. The organization participated in co-financing of the process for three years with the support of Swedish National Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA). After the process of preparation of National Youth Action Plan, as the most important step of Forum MNE towards the establishment of youth policy in Montenegro in autumn of 2007, was finalized in the end of 2006, the promotion campaign was implemented in five Montenegrin towns in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of Montenegro and NGO Youth Centre Proactive. During one-day events, promotional material on NYAP in form of brochures and posters was distributed to young people from Kotor, Cetinje, Bar, Bijelo Polje and Podgorica on city info spots. During spring in 2008 and during election for president of Montenegro, Forum MNE distributed a leaflet in daily newspapers Vijesti (number of copies printed 23.000) with a question why NYAP is not implemented. The text of leaflet clearly points out the significance of the national strategy for young people which was adopted in October 2006, as well as the need of its implementation "here and now", which was the recommendation of the European Union.
Since 2007 was marked as the first year in the process of implementation of the National Youth Action Plan which was adopted by the Government of Montenegro in October 2006, Forum MNE is actively involved in the process of localisation of the youth policy.
Youth policy appears by the common acting of executive and legislative powers of the society, with an active participation of non-governmental sector. Young people can participate in different ways in creation of youth policy – starting with the fact that they participate in research which precedes its adoption, over suggestions of specific measures, to the active role in its implementation. By 2014 local youth action plans were developed with the support of Forum MNE in municipalities: Berane, Kotor, Budva, Kolašin, and it is important to emphasise that some municipalities on their own initiative or with the support of other organisations of civil society also created local youth action plans. We think that this is a good move, since the initiative comes from the local self-governments themselves. Also, Podgorica, as the capital city, in which there is a majority of young people, obtained the local youth action plans in 2014.
However, Forum MNE still cannot evaluate the implementation of activities which were planned by the action plans within LYAP as successful – it was not possible to implement most activities because of lack of financial funds. We hope that in the future this problem will be solved and that local strategies will not exist only on paper, but in the field, as well.
Forms of support of Forum MNE during the creation of local youth action plans
In case you are interested to use long-standing expertise of Forum MNE in creating local youth action plans, in continuation you can find some basic principles according to which we work in this field.
Preparation of local youth action plans represents the support to systemic solution of problems of young people in every city and recognition of this population as a resource which needs assistance and needs to be empowered to actively participate in society, independently, and with the support of the elderly. Systemic, organised and constant support to young people means quality future of the city, its further economic growth and creation of conditions for better life of the youth. Aiming at improvement of the position of young people in the society and solution of problems young people deal with in different fields, and in compliance with the National Youth Strategy, local government enacts local action plan for the period of five years most often.
Youth Strategies at the local and national level clearly define the position and role of young people in respective society as well as the responsibility of society for young people; they deal with needs, problems and aspirations of all young people with the equal opportunities for all; they represent establishment of adequate services and structures for solving and meeting needs and aspirations of young people, for young people and with young people; they encourage active participation of young people in society and processes of decision making.
Forum MNE cherishes involvement of young people in processes of youth policy development, which means involvement of young people in all phases of these processes, having in mind that participation is one of the fundamental principles of democratic and sustainable social changes. Some of important items concerning involvement of young people in youth policy development are given as follows:
Draft Youth Law has been created for the first time in Montenegro. Namely, Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the Directorate for Youth and Sport, non-governmental organisations, as well as with the independent experts, has prepared working version of Youth Law and this version of law was at the public discussion in order to get remarks and suggestions from the citizens, scientific, expert organisations, non-governmental and other interested organisations and communities in order to improve the text. After the process of review of suggestions from the public discussions, the Bill was finalised and adopted at the session of the Government of Montenegro and finally, hopefully, its adoption by the Parliament of Montenegro is expected to be by the end of 2015.
The executive director of Forum MNE, Elvira Hadžibegović Bubanja, apart from other members and in the name of the whole civil sector of Montenegro, actively participated in work of working group for preparation of the law. The Law recognised the concepts which were introduced by the Forum MNE with the beginning of its work in Montenegro, and therefore the law can contain articles relating to youth work, youth worker, youth activist, youth office, youth club and also, by the nature of things, necessary aspects concerning National Youth Action Plan and Local Youth Action Plans.
Although it is not binding, we believe that Youth Law will be a good basis for more active continuation of working on creation of youth services which promote professionalization of the youth care and the responsible access to the youth policy.
The project ALTYO (training of lobbying and advocacy for youth organisations) was also implemented within work which Forum MNE performs in the field of preparation of young people to be competitive at the labour market.
The project lasted in the period from January 2011 – October 2012, and partners on the project were: NGO Triagolnik (Macedonia), NGO Proni Brčko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and ERYICA (Luxembourg) and it was implemented in municipalities in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Financial support was given by the European Union through Delegation of EU in Macedonia, under IPA program of strengthening of the civil sector capacity.
The matter of unemployment is one of the most complex matters which almost all countries in the region of south-east Europe deal with. The situation with vulnerable youth groups is more difficult having in mind unequal starting point where young people from these groups have difficult position because of different education, social and economic factors. Furthermore, unemployment and equal opportunities for employment for all young people remain one of the key issues.
During the project six trainings for 13 organisations of civil sector were conducted and the network of actors for lobbying and advocacy for higher competitiveness of vulnerable youth groups at the labour market were established. After the successful implementation of six modules, organisations working with RE population, young women, young people without parents' custody, young people with disabilities and young people from rural areas, organised five campaigns through which they addressed to the society in general, but also to the relevant institutions and organisations which make decisions from the field of employment and social protection. Campaigns were composed of number of events, promotions, round tables, informative sessions and creation of recommendations for modifications of certain strategies and action plans.
After the successful implementation of campaign, results and recommendations are consolidated through the publication, in form of set of mechanisms for advocacy for better position of young people in the country. This publication is a summary of all actions of advocacy and it will serve as an example of positive practice for all those who would like to deal with the similar processes in the future.
The final event was organised in form of round table, in which representatives of Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Labour Bureau of Podgorica and Employment Agency of Montenegro, representatives of civil sector, young people from vulnerable groups and media were present. Round table also presented the opportunity for promotion of project results.
According to its mission and vision and activities on the establishment of structured, quality and holistic work with young people, Forum MNE has been implementing for many years programs for education of youth workers Leadership and Community Youth Work, as well as the training program for education of youth activists.
1. Education of youth workers – university program Leadership and Community Youth Work
Education of youth workers was implemented through university program Leadership and Community Youth Work, which was organised during academic 2008/09 year and in cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Montenegro and before that Forum MNE independently organised this program. Five generations of students from different Montenegrin municipalities finished training for Community Youth Work.
The aim of the program Leadership and Community Youth Work, which has been implemented in Montenegro since 2002, is education and training of professionals working with children and young people with the aim of acquiring knowledge and skills necessary for individual and group work with young people on personal and social development, self-confidence, development of values and attitudes, communication, work on conflicts and active participation in building and development of the society. This program trained participants to do their work thoroughly, analytically and to work professionally at any moment. Through the training of participants the program gave support to the process of education reform in Montenegro, as well as to the process of establishing the quality service for young people.
According to the nature of social education and non-formal education, different forms of learning were represented in these studies. The basis of the program was a unique mix of theory and practice, with a special emphasis on the application of theory in practice.
In the period from 2002 to 2007, this university program was implemented in cooperation with the Faculty for Communication and Education (Högskolan för Lärande och Kommunikation) of the University from Jönköping in Sweden. Forum MNE, with the support of Forum Syd Balcan Program, made an effort to localize this university program and to start its implementation in cooperation with the University of Montenegro, as a step towards structured care for young people. As a result of negotiations, the contract which assumed the implementation of the education program at the Faculty of Philosophy, was signed in academic 2007/08 year between two universities (Jönköping and Montenegro), and soon after that between two faculties (Högskolan för Lärande och Kommunikation and the Faculty of Philosophy in Nikšić), with the financial support of SIDA (Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency). The education of youth workers is an extra-curricular program at the faculty, and Forum MNE and the Faculty of Philosophy work on the process of creating conditions so that the program continues to be implemented in form of MA studies. One of the factors directly influencing on the process is recognition of the vocation of youth worker – which represents one of the most important and biggest fields of Forum MNE's operation. This is the process which started long time ago and opening of MA studies was expected two years ago, nevertheless there has been no improvement in this part up to now, although all necessary documentation has been submitted on time and in compliance with all requirements.
Bureau for Education Services and the Ministry of Education accredited this program as a part of professional training of teachers and program was included in the Catalogue of professional training programs for teachers for 2007 and 2008. The overall number of 15 teachers finished A level of training program for youth workers in the community.
As a part of the professional training program for teachers in high vocational schools, elementary schools and grammar schools, which is coordinated by the Bureau for Educational Services and the Centre for Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education of Montenegro, Forum MNE conducts three accredited trainings which are: Understanding of an Adolescent in the Classroom, Creative Dealing with Conflicts in the Classroom and the Key Competence 'Learn How to Learn'.
Here you may download summary of each training and in case you are interested, feel free to contact us.