Promoting integration, strengthening society: our work focuses on supporting Roma and other vulnerable social groups. We build homes and provide better access to education, health care and the job market. We are also committed to disaster prevention and prepare people for earthquakes and floods. The people of Montenegro need your help – donate now!
Help in Montenegro
Aid for Roma and Sinti
“Thanks to Help’s support, I have my own income and can contribute to providing for my family. This makes me really happy because, for me, family means everything.” Nevenka lives in Podgorica. Help has supported her in making and selling soap.
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What is the situation like in Montenegro?
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 nation of around 620,000 residents is internationally recognised around the world and has become a member of many international organisations. It is currently negotiating to join the European Union.
Despite healthy economic growth, Montenegro faces major challenges. In particular, the roughly 8,000 Roma living in the country are often barely integrated. Many of them live in extreme poverty without any prospects of a better future. Although legislation may guarantee access to health care and education, Roma in Montenegro still frequently encounter prejudices, or they cannot exercise these rights because of their undetermined residency status. They are also often denied access to work, which means they cannot earn a regular income.
How is Help helping in Montenegro?
With Roma, for Roma
Help supports Roma families and vulnerable social groups with its home-building projects in the capital, Podgorica, and in Niksic, Berane and the coastal towns Tivat and Herceg Novi. These projects have built homes with water and electricity to allow people to live in dignity and to promote social integration. We also help people in Montenegro to access health care, education and employment. Help takes a holistic approach and works closely with Roma organisations.
Through joint events and workshops, we break down prejudices against Roma and train our participants for the job market. One important element in our work is the system of Roma mediators that Help has introduced in Montenegro. The mediators act as bridges between the Roma communities and public authorities in Montenegro. There are Roma mediators for health, education, employment and social issues.
During summer 2018, Help also worked to strengthen Montenegro’s protection and rescue system. We supported the municipalities of Herceg Novi, Tivat and Kotor in preparing themselves for natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods.
Thanks to Help's support, Nevenka Raicevic, the owner of Perla Cosmetics in Podgorica, started her own business of natural hand-crafted soaps made of local herbs. The activity started even before she realized that this could be her future job. At the beginning, she was only making small soaps as gifts for her family and friends. "Perla" soaps are made of raw materials from Montenegro. In addition to the high quality product, these raw materials affirm the national wealth and the quality of the local flora. Nevenka sells her products mainly to tourists. Dedication, as well as the sense of love which is weaved in this business, are the most important. This activity provides now an income that adds up to the home budget. However, Nevenka wants to further promote her products and make good business arrangements, which will enable secure incomes. Nevenka already has a hint that it will be so.
Pictures and videos
Facts and Figures
- Built or renovated 1,195 houses and flats for vulnerable social groups
- Helped 2,066 families to earn a secure income and find sustainable livelihoods
- Implemented project measures totalling approximately €30 million since 2001
Donate to people in Montenegro
€25 will pay for a medical examination – many Roma families have an undetermined residency status, which means that they do not have access to the public health care system.
IBAN: DE47 3708 0040 0240 0030 00
BIC: DRES DE FF 370