Good Practices

Engaging community in Obrenovac

CF: Fondacija za mlade Obrenovca

Project name: Let’s connect the dots – working together to solve the issues we care about

Grant round: I

OYF mission and strategic orientations directly go in line with the Goal no.11. This has been the main guideline of all our work since the beginning, because OYF was established in order to rebuild
community after a severe ecological and humanitarian disaster. During the first year we have been managing emergency response, and the last two years – OYF has been designing projects
that are more focused on community building and setting the foundations of the resilient community. OYF believes that besides the three crucial issues – power plant pollution, floods/disaster management, migrant crisis which will be (more) researched, managed and solved in the years and decades to come – it is our obligation to engage community and future generations of active citizens – to notice, react and prevent many other (smaller) issues and their impact.

With this project, they wanted to provide more substantive discussion among people in the community and organize events that will bring together various actors and stakeholders to talk about important local issues. Some of these events had a fundraising component, which is very important for OYF as a community foundation. But also important for people from the community, because the money which were fundraised will be used to further develop and organize community events and programs for neighborhood.

This project was developed to support the fulfillment of the Goal 11. As a community foundation, OYF wanted to support more events in the community that tackle important issues, but also to organize it in a form that gathers people who are not likely to meet often. It was important for us to talk about the youth, culture and ecology from different perspectives, and that is why we believe that activity like the Community Forum, which gathered different stakeholders, is a key for a more concrete and open discussion about issues we care about as a community. The research gave us a clue what citizens think that are the key issues to be solved, and we think it is our obligation to keep the conversation open, and to engage wide network of local actors.  Events like Spring Run and Bike Ride are fun & sports events also open the discussion about pollution, health and public infrastructure.

OYF estimates that in total more than 3,200 people were involved during different activities within this project (around 2,000 people attended 3 Community markets, 140 in Community Forum, 125 within the Research, 700 in Spring Run, 300 in the Bike ride).

We believe that this project allowed us to explore and engage with our community more openly, and directly considering the burning issues that affect our city. Our community is very vulnerable, but we also see a lot of strength and motivation in the people who engaged in this project. We have piloted some new activities, and we have managed to provide support for the activities previously organized.


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