Belgrade – On November 25, 2020, the Belgrade Open School (BOS), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the best change makers in civic advocacy in Serbia for the past year. The awards serve to highlight the most inspiring and successful advocacy campaigns and provide encouragement for others to work and bring about positive changes in their own communities.
During the event Gordana Čomić Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue said
“With the great gratitude of tireless activists of civil society organizations and the support of international and domestic organizations, I will gladly participate in the dialogue ahead of us, which should encourage everyone who wants to enter into a dialogue. The idea is to be at the service for developing dialogue. My proposal is that everyone having public position listens to criticism for the benefit of the whole society, as well as representatives of civil society share their knowledge with all citizens of Serbia.
“Countries that prosper the most are those that foster constructive cooperation between the governmental and non-governmental sectors, including civil society, private businesses and the media,” added Shanley Pinchotti, USAID Serbia’s Acting Mission Director.
Awards for the Best Change Maker for 2020, in four categories were awarded to:
I category: Change through collaboration, good practice example of cooperation between public authorities and CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) – The Union of the Blind of Serbia for the initiative “Ratification of the Marrakesh agreement”; Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled
II category: Citizen voice – campaign which succeeded in gathering support from a large number of citizens. Čepom do osmeha for the same initiative
III category: Advocacy by a non-formal group, successful initiative of a non-formal group, two initiatives – Village restoration of Pakleštica, and Pančevo initiative “For Tesla” (Odbranimo Teslu)
IV category: Individual change-maker – Milja Vuković, Zero & Low Waste Serbia
Certificates of appreciation were awarded to the following five initiatives:
- Radmila Uroševićfor “Volunteering service Zvezdara” and contribution to strengthening volunteerism
- Group Book festival Užice gymnasium for their initiative”Na pola puta” – contribution of young people to cross-border/regional cooperation
- Village cultural centre in Markovac for mainstreaming gender dimension in improving culture in rural communities
- Group Kotez for community mobilization
- Group Somborske šnajderkefor solidar response in crisis
The event was organized by the Civil Society Advocates: Through Partnership Towards Democratic Development in Serbia project, funded by USAID, and implemented by Belgrade Open School.