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In the framework of the project "Education and Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups of Women and Girls in Montenegro - EKOS", the second of three planned modules of the Academy - training for 16 volunteers and activists in the NGO sector to improve knowledge and capacity in the field of gender-based violence - took place in the town of Berane in the north of Montenegro from 5 to 8 July 2023.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and implemented by Zavod KROG from Slovenia in partnership with the NGO IMPULS and the NGO IKRE Rožaje from Montenegro. The Academy is aimed at strengthening the capacity of NGOs in Montenegro working on gender-based violence. The goal is to train the trainers to provide quality support to women and girls who are victims of violence and to work on raising awareness about the importance of prevention and protection of women's human rights.

The training had a special focus on the analysis of the Protocol on the Treatment, Prevention and Protection from Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which was adopted by the Government of Montenegro in September 2018 and has been implemented since then. Through lectures, workshops and group discussions, the expert speaker from Montenegro brought the participants closer to the legal framework, analysing the good sides as well as the sides that need to be improved in order to make the work of both, state institutions and NGOs involved in providing assistance and support to victims of gender-based violence more successful.

The Academy on Gender Equality Rights, Violence Prevention and Promoting Economic Independence of Vulnerable Groups of Women and Girls for the NGO Sector represents an important step towards strengthening the capacity of the Montenegrin NGO sector in addressing the challenges of gender-based violence, in particular NGOs in the northern municipalities. By participating in the Academy and other capacity-building activities, participants will significantly improve their knowledge and skills needed to provide support to victims of violence, both at the personal and organisational level and to actively participate in the prevention of violations and protection of women's human rights. This is also reflected in the statement of participant Munerva from the NGO MRAV Rožaje: "This training has greatly improved my skills in combating gender-based violence, and I will actively use the knowledge I have gained in the future."

Participants of the second module of the Academy expressed great satisfaction with the programme and stressed the importance of the Academy for networking in the upcoming period: "I believe that with this network we will make long-term changes in our communities",

says Irma from the NGO SRCE and Nina from the NGO SOS Plav adds: "I would like to underline the fact that for the first time we have joined forces to strengthen the fight against gender-based violence, and I am very happy about that."

The partners involved in the implementation of the project are extremely satisfied with the cooperation with all the organisations actively participating in the Academy and the interest expressed for further cooperation.


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