Office for provision of assistance and counselling for citizens and civil society which was opened under the auspices of Active Citizenship project has played an important role, not only for citizens empowerment, but also for empowerment of nongovernmental organizations operating in Pejë region and wider.
Office staff assisted civil society organizations in drafting financial reports, through providing counselling and practical work with them, same as it provided counselling for drafting project proposals and opportunities for applying to various donors.
It has also assisted different informal groups in preparing necessary documents for registering as NGOs, while it assisted in drafting internal regulations and statutes for NGOs.
Parts of the work of this office are also complaints, requests and project ideas that come from the citizens and get addressed to local and central level institutions. At the same time, although stationed in Pejë, this Office is at the service of all Kosovo citizens and different groups, NGOs, etc. who are able to seek help and advice from it through the www.aktivizohu.org website. Upon receipt of the information through the website, office staff responds to requests of citizens and other groups of interest.
Here are some examples of the support provided by the assistance office:
Bosniak organization OAZA builds its finance capacities thanks to the support of Assistance Office
Nongovernmental organizations have a constant need for increase of their management capacities, since with implementation of projects or activities some NGOs have difficulties in preparing their financial reports and reporting forms, irrespective to their enthusiasm and volunteer work, they do not have the adequate skills for this matter. Bosniak nongovernmental organization OAZA is an organization that sought the help of Assistance Office to build capacities of its staff in preparing the financial report. Assistance Office staff, under the financial officers of Syri i Vizionit, helped the finance service of OAZA organization through practical work on standard of preparing financial reports and reporting forms. This has impacted on capacity building of this Bosniak organization and improvement of its finance sector.
Assistance to NGOs in applying for funds
Assistance Office, functioning under the Active Citizenship project, helped out Serb community NGO Studio Experimental from Gorazhdec of Pejë municipality in applying for funds and in preparing project proposals. Lack of knowledge and experience with big donors, which have standardized procedures and requests according to donors, made management of this organization seek the help of Assistance Office when applying in projects according to application standards with which NGOs must apply.
Assistance Office staff provided the help of experts that Syri i Vizionit has to build capacities of NGO Studio Experimental staff in drafting project proposals and financial planning. As an outcome, this organization succeeded in securing funds. The NGO thanked the Assistance Office for the readiness and contribution to empowerment of its staff.
Informal groups assisted to register as NGOs
The Assistance Office functioning under the Active Citizenship project continues to help different stakeholders that need counselling, make requests, draft statutes to register as NGOs and their registration. The Office assisted informal group from Prishtinë that aimed at advocacy and inclusion of citizens in monitoring laws at the central level. Assistance was provided to this informal group in drafting the statute and other documentation to register as NGO. Currently, this informal group has been registered as BIA nongovernmental organization and continues to achieve its mission for advocacy and inclusion of citizens in legislation at the central level.
New journalists assisted to register as NGO
"Euro Peja" Initiative is composed of a group of young people that aim to develop journalism and bring the concept of journalism closer to youth willing to practice this profession. They called on Assistance Office to help them out with drafting of the statute and other internal regulations to turn into an NGO. Assistance Office and Syri i Vizionit staff from its experience in civil society and media assisted this informal group in drafting their statute and internal regulations to register. This initiative of Pejë youth Euro Peja carries on its activities in developing journalism with young people. Besides working with youth, this initiative has its own portal where it publishes different information from the region and Kosovo. Occasionally, this NGO consults with the Assistance Office staff about funding opportunities and application with project proposals to different donors.
Assistance to informal group for development of tourism on its organizing and structuring as an NGO
Active citizens in different fields approach the Assistance Office for helping them out in achieving their goals everyday more. Seeing the need for organizing as an independent and nongovernmental institution, but lacking information for such an organization of an informal however very active group that aims to develop tourism in Dukagjini Valley, it called for help of the Assistance Office. It came across the help of this Office in preparing various documents (statute, internal regulations, etc.) to register as an NGO. At present, this informal group has managed to complete all necessary documents thanks to the Assistance Office and applied at the Ministry of Public Administration for receiving NGO status under the name of West Gate. This initiative is also being assisted in preparation of projects proposals that they will apply with for development of tourism in Dukagjini area and wider, same as in building of its capacities.
Assistance in preparing requests
So far, the Assistance Office has helped numerous citizens in preparing and addressing their requests to respective institutions. Over four such requests were done with the head of Bogë village, from Rugovë in Pejë. Requests were related to rehabilitation and repair of village roads, channelling of sewage, drinking water system, etc. They were filed by the head of Bogë village officially to municipality of Pejë, namely to its respective directorates. Simultaneously, it was worked with the head of this village to build his capacities on preparing requests, complaints or project ideas, and the ways how to approach the institutions.