Debates with the Special Representative in BiH, Valentin Inzko
Public debates in the process of Bosnia and Herzegovina's approaching the European Union were held under the patronage of the Office of the EU Special Representative to BiH, organised by Vesta Association. The Special Representative of EU to BiH, Valentin Inzko, visited 10 municipalities in BiH during four months, and spoke with representatives of local communities about the process of BiH integration into the EU. The EU Special Representative met with various community representatives, including those from the business sector, local authorities, ngo sector, youth, academic community, political parties and media.
Civil dialogue for the rights of children and women in BiH
Through implementation of the project „Civil dialogue for the rights of children and women in BiH“, a better quality dialogue was facilitated between representatives of civil society and governmental sector, all with a view to achieve concrete and specific progres sin the improvement of the position of women and children in BiH.
Each child is entitled to feel well and safe at school
A system established in the primary schools of Tuzla Canton for prevention and supression of violence against children. The project ''Campaign for prevention and supression of violence among children in primary schools'' addressed the problem of increased violence in schools. Among other, this is a consequence of a lack of an adequate program of prevention and supression measures to treat violence among school children in the curriculum.
How media influence the process of reintegration and sustainable return in BiH?
Through its project ''Media in the process of reintegration and sustainable return“, Vesta carried out a series of activities comprising capacity building of the media staff in relation to peaceful journalism and human rights, promotional campaigns about the changes in the Law on free access to information, advocacy campaign for elimination of xenophobic elements in media content in return areas of both entities, and a group of activities related to enter-ethnic dialogue. Participants in this project expressed their gratitude that the EC Delegation in BiH and the Government of Finland recognised the importance of such a project, at a time when the media community is deeply divided, and when media are closing u pinto their national and ideology-based sub-communities, and, as such, contribute very little or nothing to the overall feeling of security in BiH.
Youth contributed to the local community development with the support of local radio stations
The project „Gender, youth and media'' resulted in a considerable increase of youth participation in development projects at the local level, in a number of municipalities in BiH. Youth, with their efforts, and positive pressure exerted through local media, organised a cultural festival in Mici, ensured office premises are allocated for youth groups in Banja Luka, initiated a student web portal in Sarajevo, and decisively confronted cultural-social-behavioral „trash“. It is important to note that the project facilitated purchase of equipment for the Vesta Radio mobile station. Mobile Vesta Radio provided for the voice of youth to be heard at different locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Introducing gender perspective into the budgets
Vesta implemented the project „Gender sensitive budgeting policy“. The purpose of this project was to look into whether there is a gender sensitive budgeting policy and whether at any level there are development programs based on a gender sensitive socio-economic analysis. Analysis of the situation with gender sensitive budgeting policies showed that economic inequalities between women and men in BiH, are, among other, closely related to the fact that, at all the decision making levels with considerable concentration of power, women's participation is significantly less than that of men. This analysis produced many useful data and evidence on marginalisation of women.
Women politicians contributing to the local community development
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation enables Vesta Association for a longer period to lead a constructive and open dialogue with women politicians, who are engaged in the wider Tuzla region. Vesta actively cooperated with women politicians, giving them media space to promote their actions and efforts which they are continuously making in order to develop their communities.
Monitoring and analysis of implementation of Criteria for school names and symbols
Vesta, acting as a partner organisation, contributed to the implementatin of the project „Monitoring and analysis of implementation of Criteria for school names and symbols“, which was implemented by the Local Democracy Foundation from Sarajevo.
Vesta in the process of European integrations and building of civil society
Following an intensive training of Vesta representatives in Bruxelles in 2007, our organisation was recognised as a relevant counterpart in the further process of civil society building, and numerous invitations followed to participate at events such as: Stronger voice of civil society in the EU countries (Ljubljana 2008), Civil society in South-Eastern Europe – Lets build Europe together (Bruxelles 2008), Second Forum of the West Balkans Civil Society (Ljubljana 2008), The role of civil society in the creation of EU policies (Sarajevo 2008), Civil dialogue – How to shape European Union the way we want it to be (Bruxelles 2008) and many others.
Contribution to the OHR campaign on the European perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina
As part of the 2008 campaign, 16 public debates and conferences were organised, with a considerable number of participants from the international community, governmental and non governmental sector, as well as business sector. The objective of this campaign was to open a constructive dialogue on the necessary changes that BiH needs to make on its path toward the European Union.
Vesta as a member of European and national networks
Having recognised the importance of networking, Vesta actively participates in a number of European and BiH networks. Our comittment to contribute with some system changes also at the European Union level, has enabled us to open a dialogue with our partner organisations on key problems in the Western Balkans countries.
RECENT VESTA Association CIVIL INITIATIVES (2005-2007)
These projects were supported by the European Union
Novi Grad Playground Restoration
The playground in the local community of Novi Grad in Tuzla was restored and renovated. The campaign was initiated by the children and leaders from this local community. The project received considerable support from the Tuzla Municipality.
Spomen Park RenovationIn cooperation with citizens and with the support of local authorities, Spomen Park in the community of Tušanj was renovated. The purpose of the campaign was to help restore the cultural-historical heritage of Tuzla and ensure a safe place for citizens to gather and socialize. The official ceremony was attended by the then Ambassador of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Michael B. Humphreys.
VESTA Association worked with the non-governmental organization Novi Horizonti to improve health care for children suffering from diabetes in the Tuzla Canton. The campaign pushed for the inclusion of a certain type of insulin onto the list of essential medications in the Tuzla Canton, which insured better treatment and care for these children.
The Norne Association: Supporting Single and Divorced Parents
The first association of single and divorced parents in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded as a result of a campaign initiated by citizens and VESTA Association. The Norne Association advocates for the recognition of divorced and single parents' rights and the improvement of their status in society by challenging stereotypes and tradition.
Youth Employment ProgramVESTA helped create an employment program for young people of legal age living without parental care. Through a priority employment program, numerous young people from Tuzla got their first jobs.
Football Field Renovation in Baljkovica
The football field in the community of Baljkovica in the Sapna municipality was renovated and put to use. This project revived the cultural/sports life in the adjacent communities of minority returnees, improved the overall conditions for the reintegration of returnees, and created a valuable and sustainable public space for all local citizens.
Street Lighting in RastošnicaLighting was installed on the street next to the minority return community of Rastošnica, in the Sapna municipality. The project improved safety in the neighborhood, allowing for the possibility of more socialization among the community members Support for this initiative was provided by Sapna municipality, emigrants from Sapna who live abroad, and the electric-power company Elektroprivreda BiH.
Office Renovation and Staff Training in Rastošnica and Skakovica
Administrative conditions were improved for organizations serving minority returnees in the local communities of Rastošnica and Skakovica in the Sapna municipality. VESTA Association and local partners furnished the offices with new equipment and helped local staff improve their means of communicating with returnees.
Sports Field RenovationVESTA Association invested in the athletic and cultural life of youth in the returnee communities of Šibošnica, Drijenča, Miladići, Visori, Nahvioci, Humci and Piperi in the Čelić area. With the support of the local authorities and emigrants, the sports field was renovated and new equipment was purchased for the local sports society which currently consists of tens of young returnees as well as other youth from the area.
Reliable Garbage Removal in Koraj and Repovac
VESTA and its partners helped ensure regular garbage removal service in the minority return communities of Koraj in the Lopare municipality and Repovac in the Bratunac municipality. Heaps of garbage had threatened the health and existence of minority returnees in these communities. Through this civil initiative, the environmental conditions were improved, thereby protecting the health of local residents.
Playground Renovation in the Bratunac MunicipalitySchool playgrounds and parks in the minority return communities of Voljevica and Konjević Polje in the Bratunac municipality were restored and renovated. These projects improved the social life of children and furthered the reintegration of returnees.
Clean Air Campaign
Through the public awareness campaign "Let's Breath Fresh Air," VESTA Association informed the citizens of Tuzla about the polluted air they breathe every day. As a result, the Government of Tuzla Canton established posts that measure the air quality at five different locations around Tuzla. This project was supported by The World Bank.