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Mission & History
Grassroots Democracy
November 21st, 2016
Brief histories of our projects and programmes

Our mission -- explained
Grassroots Democracy

Grassroots Democracy - Phase I Narrative Report

Phase I of the Grassroots Democracy Project consisted of a training session in Poland, creation of school-based NGO’s in Kosova, Serbia and Bosnia, site visits, distribution of mini-grants and implementation of individual projects.

A ten-day workshop was held in Nowy Sacz, Poland from April 23-May 2, 2001. There were 45 participants from the Balkans. Their stay consisted of daily workshops and was complimented by visits to local schools. We feel that we reached our goal of providing them with the tools for creating Parent – Teacher Associations at their schools.

There were 30 Serbs from Vojvodina (Vrsac, Subotica, Novi Sad, Bela Crkva), 2 Serbs from Srebrenica (Republic of Serbia in Bosnia and Herzegovina), 3 Albanians from Shkoder, 9 Albanians and 1 Bosnian from Kosova. Amazingly enough there seemed to be no difficulties prompted by ethnicity. ALL participants were considerate, helpful to each other and us, open-minded, respectful and tolerant. We were extremely impressed.

The purpose of the June trip to the Balkans was to judge the effectiveness of the April workshop in Nowy Sacz and to distribute mini-grants to the new Parent-Teacher Associations. The success of the project can be measured by the number of newly registered organizations as well as by the worthiness of their first projects. In both cases it was a huge success. We have 100% registration and gave out more mini-grants than expected.

During the June tour of the Balkans we visited the schools with the new organizations and recruited participants for the continuation of the project. We gave out mini-grants to all the registered NGO’s to support their first projects and met with several of the participants to discuss current and future plans and projects. We also made excellent contacts in Romania and Bulgaria and created links for future cooperation. Several potential participants were noted and information about our School Plus network was spread. We discussed the criteria and strategic plan for this network with Moca (our Serbian Project Coordinator) and the others.
To sum up, 13 new parent-teacher associations (Serbia: Vrsac-4, Bela Crkva-2 and Subotica-3; Kosova: Gjilane, Peje and Prizren; Bosnia: Srebrenica) were created from a total of 45 participants. An equal number of projects were consulted, approved and supported. By November 30, 2001 each organization must submit a narrative report, financial report and receipts to MTO as proof of the realization of their projects.
We are currently in contact with these organizations and have already received reports from Bela Crkva, for example. They have written a second project and have applied for further funding from an international foundation. We will actually meet with the Kosova NGO’s during our November visit there.
We look forward to the continuation and expansion of this dynamic project with Phase II.