In Montenegro, Help aims to strengthen the rights of disadvantaged groups such as the Roma and to enable them to lead a self-determined and dignified life. We are currently also supporting the integration of Ukrainian refugees in the country.
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A country with prospects – but not for everyone
On 3 June 2006, Montenegro declared its independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro following a referendum. Today, the small country is recognised worldwide under international law and has been accepted into numerous international organisations. Accession negotiations with the European Union are currently underway. The state is also making great economic progress – but not everyone is benefiting.
Montenegro is home to a great diversity of ethnic groups, including many Roma and Sinti who are still fighting prejudice and often are excluded. Although access to health care and education are guaranteed by law, they are often unable to exercise these rights due to an unclear residence status. The path to a regular professional life remains blocked for many as well. According to UNDP, only 18 per cent of the 18-24-year-old Roma are in employment or apprenticeship – compared to 63 per cent in the rest of the population. As a result, numerous families still live in extreme poverty despite Montenegro's economic upswing.
Sustainable help at eye level
Help has been strengthening the socio-economic development of Montenegro since 1999. In particular, we are striving to enable disadvantaged groups to live in dignity and to strenghten social integration. In doing so, Help pursues holistic approaches and works closely with municipalities, ministries and Roma organisations. Through joint events and workshops, we reduce prejudices against the Roma and qualify the participants for the labour market.
An important component of this endeavour is the system of Roma mediators introduced by Help in Montenegro. These mediators act as a link between the Roma communities and the state authorities in Montenegro. Roma mediators are available in the areas of health, education, employment and social issues.
Currently, Help is also supporting the provision of food, medicine and clothing for refugees from Ukraine. To facilitate integration into the school system or the labour market, we also promote language courses, day care for children and psychosocial support. We furthermore help some of the Ukrainian crisis centres with furniture and rent payments.
New job, new courage
Lejla Erović, a 25-year-old single mother from Bijelo Polje, was able to find employment through Help's training and mentoring programme. After a long period of unemployment, the trained customs technician took part in Help's motivational workshops and found new courage. After six weeks of training, she was able to start as an accounting assistant at a car repair service and now is looking to the future with new hope:
"I think I have found my dream job. It is the first job that I like. Now I want to improve my skills in this job as much as possible to become really good at it."
- Help has built or renovated 1,195 houses and flats for vulnerable social groups
- Help has provided 2,066 families with a secure income and sustainable livelihood
- In 11 Montenegrin municipalities, we are currently contributing to Roma advocacy through a media campaign
- Help is currently supporting 100 young unemployed people under the age of 35 for three months with an individual mentoring programme
Donate for the people of Montenegro
Support our work for Roma and other disadvantaged groups in Montenegro.
IBAN: DE47 3708 0040 0240 0030 00
BIC: DRES DE FF 370