Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH, representatives of the Governments of Switzerland and Sweden, UNDP Resident Representative, and representatives of the RS Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government, the Brčko District of BiH and entity Associations of Municipalities and Cities of the FBiH and RS paid a visit to Jablanica and Nevesinje.
In the delegation led by the UNDP BiH’s MZ project team, representatives were introduced to the results of the project ‘Strengthening the Role of Local Communities –MZ in BiH’ and ongoing activities, aimed to improve the quality of life of 300,000 people in BiH. The MZ project involves 136 local communities and 24 municipalities across BiH.
Mayor Salem Dedić, the President of the MZ Ostrožac Council Derviš Gabela and the director of the Suljo Čilić Primary School Edin Idrizović welcomed the delegation in the primary school in the MZ Ostrožac, Jablanica. As a part of the MZ project, the school ground was reconstructed including the installation of video surveillance for better student safety in this school.
In further visit, Samir Sarajlić, the manager of the Community Hub in Gornja Kolonija welcomed the delegation, followed by the presentation of activities of the Prenj-Glogošnica Mountaineering Association and the Youth Club Under the Same Sun in these premises. The President of the Mountaineering Association Naid Keskin presented the activities of the Mountaineering School, carried out in the MG Glogošnica, over the course of six months, and gathering 37 new participants. President of the Youth Club Under the Same Sun, Haris Halilhodžić shared the experiences of the joint cooperation of this club with the MZ Doljani, the MZ Slatina, the MZ Ostrožac and the MZ Jablanica 2.
The Community Hub in Gornja Kolonija is located in a social housing facility. It was equipped as a part of the MZ Project. Children's playground was additionally built, while the Youth Club Under the Same Sun in cooperation with the MZ Jablanica 2 also established a daycentre for children in this local community.
The delegation also visited the MZ Donja Jablanica, where they met with the representatives of this local community and the Women's Association Most. Here, reconstruction of the MZ Donja Jablanica premises was done, including courses for sewing and empowerment of women leaders.
In the Nevesinje Municipality, the delegation was welcomed by the Nevesinje Mayor Milenko Avdalović, who highlighted the priorities of this municipality during the visit, including promotion of life in countryside and keeping young people in Nevesinje, adding that one of the future plans includes regulation of the downtown area.
The delegation then paid a visit to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of the Eastern Herzegovina region. On behalf of the Association, the delegation was welcomed by Brane Tamindžija, who presented the activities of the ‘Sweeter Life for Persons with Disabilities’ project. There project activities have a social component, and the idea itself won the 2nd place during the Start-up days #Kreni zajednica in Ljubuški.
The project also included rehabilitation of the branch school in Krekovi, with works co-financed by the Nevesinje Municipality. Representatives in the working visit were warmly welcomed at the school by students and school teachers, as well as representatives of this local community.
The delegation also visited the MZ Bijenja, where the activities of the project ‘Source of Life Safety and Valorisation’ were carried out. These activities were presented by Nenad Vulić, a representative of this local community.
Working visit of the delegation concluded with at a meeting of the Project Board at the Community Hub in the Nevesinje town hall.
Joint project of the Government of Sweden and Switzerland ‘Strengthening the Role of Local Communities – MZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ aims to foster citizen participation in municipal decision making, in the ensured provision of quality services by the municipality, and in the implementation of local development activities, whereby the revival of MZs is considered a key tool to achieve these goals. The project is implemented by UNDP in BiH, in partnership with the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government of Republika Srpska, Ministry of Justice of Federation BiH, the Government of Brčko District and both entity Associations of Municipalities and Cities.