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April 2014

Apr 28
(All day)

On April 28, 2014, USAID’s Judicial Reform and Government Accountability project began implementing a facility upgrade in the Misdemeanor Court in Šabac.

On April 28, 2014, USAID’s Judicial Reform and Government Accountability project began implementing a facility upgrade in the Misdemeanor Court in Šabac. The court moved to temporary premises for the duration of the works to allow for a complete renovation and functional reorganization of the space recently purchased by the Ministry of Justice. Improved working conditions will lead to streamlined court business processes. The installation of a ‘one-stop-shop’ intake and information counter will enable better access to justice for court users. The upgrades are expected to be finished this summer.

May 2014

May 05
10:45 AM CEST

Youth and women from 12 economically-challenged municipalities in Serbia (Vranje, Leskovac, Preševo, Bujanovac, Medveđa, Raška, Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Tutin, Priboj, Prijepolje, Nova Varoš), who have a business idea, will get an opportunity to start their own business in the textile light industry or agribusiness sectors.  The public call for participation in the project is open from May 5 to June 6, 2014. 

Youth and women from 12 economically-challenged municipalities in Serbia (Vranje, Leskovac, Preševo, Bujanovac, Medveđa, Raška, Novi Pazar, Sjenica, Tutin, Priboj, Prijepolje, Nova Varoš), who have a business idea, will get an opportunity to start their own business in the textile light industry or agribusiness sectors.  The public call for participation in the project is open from May 5 to June 6, 2014.  USAID’s Private Sector Development Project, implemented by the National Agency for Regional Development, will train 200 applicants in business start-up and business plan formulation.  The 32 highest ranked business plans will receive funding for the purchase of equipment or services needed to implement the business plan.  The average grant amount per company is US $7,500, while the total grants fund is US $240,000.  The grantees will get additional non-financial support through training, consultancy and mentoring.

 

May 23
(All day)

On May 23, Mr. Zeljko Sertic, Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC) President, and Mr. Joseph Lowther, USAID Business Enabling Project (BEP) Chief of Party, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of a web portal that will provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with important information for access to finance.

On May 23, Mr. Zeljko Sertic, Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC) President, and Mr. Joseph Lowther, USAID Business Enabling Project (BEP) Chief of Party, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of a web portal that will provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with important information for access to finance.  BEP will award a grant to provide the necessary support and advice in the initial phase of the portal’s development, especially regarding the organization and content of the access to finance module.  All SMEs in Serbia will have free access to the finance module.  The SCC will host, maintain, and update the portal regularly.  In addition, USAID and the SCC agreed to help companies affected by the recent flooding by opening a special section on the SCC website with comprehensive information on state support and access to finance regulations.  USAID will also provide technical expertise to the SCC to determine which regulatory changes are needed to expand access to finance for SMEs affected by the flooding.  These recommendations will be distributed to the Government of Serbia and relevant ministries.

May 23
(All day)

On May 23, Mr. Zeljko Sertic, Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC) President, and Mr. Joseph Lowther, USAID Business Enabling Project (BEP) Chief of Party, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of a web portal that will provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with important information for access to finance.  BEP will award a grant to provide the necessary support and advice in the initial phase of the portal’s development, especially regarding the organization and content of the access to finance module.  All SMEs in Serbia will have free access to the finance module.

On May 23, Mr. Zeljko Sertic, Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC) President, and Mr. Joseph Lowther, USAID Business Enabling Project (BEP) Chief of Party, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of a web portal that will provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with important information for access to finance.  BEP will award a grant to provide the necessary support and advice in the initial phase of the portal’s development, especially regarding the organization and content of the access to finance module.  All SMEs in Serbia will have free access to the finance module.  The SCC will host, maintain, and update the portal regularly.  In addition, USAID and the SCC agreed to help companies affected by the recent flooding by opening a special section on the SCC website with comprehensive information on state support and access to finance regulations.  USAID will also provide technical expertise to the SCC to determine which regulatory changes are needed to expand access to finance for SMEs affected by the flooding.  These recommendations will be distributed to the Government of Serbia and relevant ministries.

May 27
(All day)

Twenty of the best student companies, winners of the regional competitions, participated in the National Best Student Company competition held in Belgrade on May 26 and 27.

Twenty of the best student companies, winners of the regional competitions, participated in the National Best Student Company competition held in Belgrade on May 26 and 27.  The winning company that will represent Serbia at the European finals in Tallinn is “Bookz Matter” from the “Svetozar Marković” Grammar School in Niš, that has managed to make reading popular and easy with some practical gadgets:  BookieMark (bookmarks), BookieBag (a bag for carrying books) and BookieTalk (a voice recording device inserted into books that reminds the person who borrowed it to give it back to the owner).  To make their products more appealing to their target group – young people aged 15 to 25 – they engaged young artists to design their products.  The second prize went to the student company “Vector Studio” (School of Economics, Niš), and the 3rd to the company “Kanak” (School of Economics and Trade, Kraljevo).  All proceeds from the students fair at the Delta City mall, organized on the first day of the competition, were donated to the victims of recent floods in Serbia.

June 2014

Jun 23
(All day)

USAID is soliciting applications from local NGOs to support democratic and economic development, with a funding range between $200,000 - $500,000. For questions and answers regarding the Serbia Civil Society Partners APS, please visit http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=253488.

USAID is soliciting applications from local NGOs to support democratic and economic development, with a funding range between $200,000 - $500,000. For questions and answers regarding the Serbia Civil Society Partners APS, please visit http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=253488.

Reviews will take place on a quarterly basis. All applications should be received by July 18th to be considered for the first review at the end of July. Applicants should clearly state which subject area they are applying for on their application.

July 2014

Jul 09
(All day)

As part of the youth On-the-Job Training program supported by USAID’s Sustainable Local Economic Program (SLDP), 162 interns have been placed in 33 companies across 13 municipalities.

As part of the youth On-the-Job Training program supported by USAID’s Sustainable Local Economic Program (SLDP), 162 interns have been placed in 33 companies across 13 municipalities. The training program aligns youth skills with labor market needs.  It also helps private companies with five or more employees quickly find qualified staff and reduce the time and cost for the selection and recruitment of new employees.  USAID engaged an agency to select and administer the hiring of trainees and will provide candidates with 60 percent of the minimum national gross salary during the two-month trainings. Participating company profiles range from mostly services-oriented in Vojvodina, IT and food processing in southern Serbia to clothes production (fashion) in the south–west of the county. Preference in receiving On-the-Job trainees was given to companies planning to hire new employees within six months of completion of the training program. The interns are now placed in companies located in: Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci, Subotica, Zrenjanin, Sombor, Kikinda, Niš, Vranje, Leskovac, Čačak, Užice, Priboj, Novi Pazar, encompassing at least one municipality in all 32 SLDP supported inter-municipal cooperation areas. The program will last until August 2014, after which the best trainees are expected to gain employment.

Jul 10
(All day)

On Thursday, July 10, the U.S. Ambassador awarded certificates to the third generation of participants in the YouthBuild program in South Serbia.   This program is a direct response to the region's growing youth disenfranchisement, economic slowdown, residual ethnic tensions, and hoped-for accession to the European Union. In 2014, 41 talented young men and women completed the program.

On Thursday, July 10, the U.S. Ambassador awarded certificates to the third generation of participants in the YouthBuild program in South Serbia.   This program is a direct response to the region's growing youth disenfranchisement, economic slowdown, residual ethnic tensions, and hoped-for accession to the European Union. In 2014, 41 talented young men and women completed the program. Their hard work has changed their neighborhoods for the better – they refurbished a music school in Bujanovac; opened up a world of possibilities for children with disabilities by cleaning up and painting a classroom in Vranje; renovated the pensioners’ club in Preševo, and led a dozen of other different community projects. Local communities (institutions, business, and citizens) contributed more than $2,820 to these activities. The YouthBuild program is part of USAID’s new approach to supporting civil society organizations. By giving direct support to Civic Initiatives, USAID helps young people to acquire the skills to become agents of change. Young Roma, Bosniaks, Albanians, and Serbs come together to engage their communities, find jobs and internships, start businesses, and design projects. Teaching young people to be more proactive, to seize their own futures, is absolutely critical for the future of south Serbia. YouthBuild also developed an alumni network for previous participants to join together for volunteer activities. Twenty-seven previous program participants have been a part of the recent volunteer actions. Six previous participants have found jobs via the internships from the program, while four more are awaiting a decision on their job application. It is expected that all participants will remain engaged in improving their communities.

 

 

 

Jul 23
(All day)

On July 23, a regional conference commemorated the success of the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation’s Youth Funds project supported by USAID.

On July 23, a regional conference commemorated the success of the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation’s Youth Funds project supported by USAID.  The vision of the project is to further Serbian democratic consolidation through the inclusion and empowerment of young women and men via a grant-making partnership with a matching contributions mechanism. Divac's Youth Funds project gives young women and men the platform and resources needed to realize their ideas, while affording them a sense of purpose. The project has significantly increased the participation of young women and men in the development of their communities and reduced social exclusion of vulnerable young women and men. Over the past year, 54 youth initiatives worth $40,000 were realized in five participating municipalities (Vlasotince, Vladičin Han, Vršac, Prijepolje and Kanjiža) and involved the participation of 7,500 young people.  Nearly half of the funds were local government contributions. Initiatives included a wide range of activities including improving working conditions in high schools, developing sport facilities, promoting culture, strengthening knowledge of youth policies, protecting the environment and renovating public spaces for youth.  In addition, the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation extended the project to four more municipalities (Arandjelovac, Lazarevac, Obrenovac, and Blace). The total budget for the realization of these initiatives is $50,000. 

Jul 24
(All day)

On July 24, The Media Coalition, representing five major journalist and media associations in Serbia, and supported by a grant from USAID, organized a presentation of the results of the first phase of its multimedia campaign for media literacy which ran from April 24 to July 20, 2014.

On July 24, The Media Coalition, representing five major journalist and media associations in Serbia, and supported by a grant from USAID, organized a presentation of the results of the first phase of its multimedia campaign for media literacy which ran from April 24 to July 20, 2014.  The presentation was an opportunity for the public to debate the importance of media literacy in society, the role of the media in democratic participation, education about media and media sources, and the future plans of relevant stakeholders in this field.  The press conference brought together representatives of civil society, media, journalists, students, and teachers.  The presentation was opened by the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Srđan Verbić, who underlined the importance of education for media literacy in the digital information age.  USAID Acting Democracy and Governance Office Director Shanley Pinchotti pointed to the importance of making critical assessments of different news sources, and the importance of information for public participation in democratic processes.  The Media Coalition's multimedia promotion supports media literacy, raises the level of critical analysis, and expands awareness about the importance of professional journalism in a democratic society.

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Last updated: November 19, 2014

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