21.09.2021

EU TACSO 3 and Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro organized Training and Mentoring on Transformation for efficient Participation

EU TACSO 3 and the Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro organized during October and November P2P on-demand activities aiming to contribute to the development of capacities of CSOs for active promotion and advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). 

It was organised as two-segment activities:

1. One-day regional exchange event open for participants from Albania, Nosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia, that was organized to exchange knowledge and practice of organisations working in this area (organised on 20 September 2021); and 

2. National-level capacity building activity: Training for trainers (ToT) for persons with disabilities from Montenegro, which lasted four days (organised 21 – 24 September 2021) and was followed by additional mentoring sessions for participants.

This P2P on-demand:

  • Contributed to the development of trainers’ capacities and knowledge of activists from the organizations of persons with disabilities;
  • Improved knowledge and skills of organizations of persons with disabilities on adequate ways of promoting rights of PWDs and UN Convention on the Rights of PWDs and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • Contributed to the improvement of communication and knowledge exchange between CSOs and OPDs in the region

During the one-day regional exchange, Ms Ana Lorenzen, Programme Manager at EU Delegation to Montenegro welcomed the participants on behalf of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro and stressed the importance of the work of civil society organisations and the strategic approach of the Delegation and EU in the process of supporting community-based initiatives that lead towards democratization of the society. Country coordinator for Montenegro also welcomed the participants and presented the main goals of EU TACSO 3 projects and their role in the strengthening of civil society.  In the first part of the program, the participants also had a chance to hear regional perspectives and practices of organisations working in the area of youth with disabilities as leaders of change, including experiences from Marina Vujačić from the Association of Youth with Disabilities of Montenegro, Jovana Krivokuća-Milovanović from Forum of Youth with Disabilities, Serbia, Suvad Zahirović from Information Center for Persons with Disabilities “Lotos”, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Rustem Gashi, Representative of Handikos from Kosovo*. 

The second part of this capacity-building activity consisted of theoretical inputs and practical exercises led by a team of trainers Vuk Maras, Marina Vujacic, and Goran Macanovic. and was followed by additional mentoring sessions for participants.

The second part of this capacity-building activity consisted of theoretical inputs and practical exercises led by a team of trainers Vuk Maras, Marina Vujacic, and Goran Macanovic. and was followed by additional mentoring sessions for participants. 

Vuk Maraš, said: “This was definitely one of the trainings I loved the most, as participants have shown extensive interest and will to learn and gain new skills. All participants were able to get basic ToT skills, which will allow them to present different topics in different formats and more successfully advocate for their causes. On the other hand, the training has shown that some participants have a significant talent for ToT – especially some forms, which will allow them to even more progress in the future period. Through mentoring, we were able to work additionally on their skills and improve them substantially. I believe this training contributed to the development of several PwD champions, who will be able to more effectively fight for their cause, demand reforms, and contribute to the resolution of various problems.” 

Goran Macanović said: “As a trainer, I think the training was well organized, and completely successful. The majority of participants expressed a high level of commitment and interest to gain advanced trainers’ skills. Several participants during their presentations have shown a lot of capacity to work as trainers, which will in the future lead to the increased of a number of activists who will contribute to the positive changes in the fight for rights of persons with disabilities through education of different target groups.“

Marina Vujačić said: “The entire training I evaluate as very successful and purposeful. Both during the training and after the completion of all its parts, it is obvious that this training justified its purpose and made a significant contribution to raising the capacity of persons with disabilities and activists in organizations of persons with disabilities for public speaking, leading various types of events (training, lectures, and facilitation of various activities). Participants were highly motivated, ready to acquire knowledge, and dedication to the sessions, which speaks in favor of the fact that they took their roles and the importance of this training seriously. I believe that this type of training and mentoring is desirable for future work as well because it is important for experienced coaches as well, not just “beginners”. In this training, the participants faced difficult situations, received guidelines for overcoming them, received information and encouragement on how to develop their strengths and how to achieve the purpose and goal of the training. After some time, through practical work, it will be clear which roles the trainee can adequately perform depending on the inclination, capacity, and work on themselves.”

It was concluded that only by providing youth with disabilities more voice and space, not only in the disability rights movement but also in the youth and civil sector and civic activism in general, only then we could expect significant changes in their position in the whole region.