Annual Report 2004


supported by Star World Learning, project BATCOM – ZONTA International Foundation

The aim of this Project was to raise the awareness of young people, 13 – 18 age, about the trafficking issues in a preventative way. 18 interactive workshops were attended by 251 students from all three secondary schools and 492 students from all three primary schools in Trebinje. This makes total of 743 young people.

One thing that became obvious through implementation of this Project is that there is a very low level of awareness about this issue within this category, and this became clear through surveys. Their starting level of knowledge is worrying because it reflects the level of knowledge of other young people in the same age who were not involved in this Project, and even more because Trebinje is placed on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro and with the accent on transition and poverty. Official information about trafficking in this region do not exist even though there are indications that have been mentioned in our surveys.

For example, one young person on the question “does the trafficking problem exist in the region?” answered: “Of course, I heard that many trafficking victims go through this region.” About 98% of people in the surveys think that there is a trafficking issue in our country. All these highlight the importance of preventative acting and the need to raise the awareness of this target category because they are in the most cases victims of trafficking. This Project became very interesting for the public and the youth that expressed their wish for a continuation, not only through workshops, seminars and public debates but also through wide emissions in the media about this issue. They even say that this could be one of the measures that should be undertaken with the aim to stop human beings trafficking.

We think that this Project was useful and helpful to everybody, from students, parents, institutions working with these issues (police at the first place, because this might be one of the ways for trafficking prevention) to our organization that developed its capacities in this way and learned a lot about this issue. One success is that the director of the 2nd primary school insisted that all children/young people go through these workshops because he recognized their importance and the problem itself. This Project was important for us because it made our existing cooperation with schools and the police much stronger. It also created a link between our organization and girls and boys from these schools who started to ask for different activities – help and advice, which is certainly a great success.The activities from this Project are shared, as examples of good practice, with other environments in Herzegovina (rural areas of municipalities Trebinje, Capljina and Ravno and schools in municipalities Nevesinje, Bileca and Ljubinje).

The new Project “Stop trafficking by people” is financed by the American Embassy because they recognized, through visiting our organization and seeing the activities and results of the Project “Traffic by goods and not by people”, that this method of work (education of target categories, young women/girls), is an important way of a preventative fight against trafficking. The materials that have been handed out to the workshop participants in BATCOM Project and the surveys will be used in this new Project and handed out to participants in the above mentioned municipalities in schools and rural areas.


supported by SHL

Theproject was consisted of 10 intensive workshopsheld on following topics:

  • “How to recognize person who uses psychoactive substances”,
  • “Importance of primary prevention”,
  • “Realize your capacities”
  • “How I see myself –confidence building”,
  • “How to provide assistance to family “,
  • “Healthy life styles promotion “,
  • “Nicotinisation”,
  • “Alcoholism”,
  • “Use of psychoactive substances (marihuana, etc)”,
  • “Medical treatments of PAS persons”

Lecturers were Ljiljana Špuran – Knežević clinical psychologist and Ph. Branka Vujović.

30 pupils, VIII grade, from Primary School Trebinje attended workshops. Evaluation results showed that pupils were informed about problems of addiction deceases but not to sufficient extent. They emphasized that workshops help them a lot because they received a lot of new and very useful information that will be of great importance to them in the future. Due to small premises of “Women’s Center” participants were divided in two groups.


supported by American Embassy

This project is an example of good practice. Because of expressed interest of the director, children and teachers in the project “Traffic by goods not by people” and in particularly because of the true life stories, this Project has been expanded to following towns in Herzegovina (Bileća, Nevesinje, Ljubinje, Ravno and Čapljina) as well as in 4 local communities in Trebinje. 1417 persons, mainly young people and population in rural areas attended the workshops. ). We organized 68 workshops on trafficking topic. “Women’s Center” is a member of RING Network and we participated in the elaboration of minimum standards for victims of trafficking: We also participated with our suggestions toward the State coordinator for the elaboration of the Action plan 2005, Combat against human beings trafficking.


supported by Great Britain Embassy, DFID Project

This project enabled realization of Creative Centre for Children. Target beneficiaries of this project are children victims of family violence. To support their socialization the Center is open for all other children. Spanish Red Cross supported art, music, photo and acting sections in the Center. Activities took place in the classrooms of Primary School in Trebinje during weekends due to luck of funds for renting premises and equipment. Activities have been extended to 2005. Total number of children included in Centre activities was 77, out of which were 23 children victims of family violence. Cooperative Agreement on organized combat against family violence has been signed by Police, Center of Social Welfare, Health Center , Municipality Trebinje, Public Defense Office, medias (including TV unit Trebinje), all primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and Red Cross with “Women’s Center” Trebinje as objective of this project. Until today we are the only organization in BIH that involved this number of different organizations united in combat against family violence in one community.


supproted by Govermnet of RS

Government of RS supported “Women’s Center” Trebinje with 70.000 KM to purchase premises (building) for “Save house for victims of family violence“. The building has been bought but we need additional funds for it’s renovation and to purchase the equipment necessary for it’s regular functioning.


supported by Canadian Embassy

16 workshops in 4 rural communities in Trebinje municipality has been held within this project. On following topics:

    • “Reproductive health”
    • “Women human rights”
    • “Education and social status of women; Family Law and family relations”
    • “Importance of active participation of women in politics”.

Participants were middle age persons, mainly woman.

Workshops were attended by the same group of rural citizens from Petrovo Polje, Lastva, Dobromani and Ljubomir what give us the fact that we succeeded in attracting and keeping their attention on this topics through the project period implementation. We have to report that participants level of the knowledge and awareness about above mention topics was very low. People had very low understanding about basic human rights and existence of Law on Gender Equality and its benefits. Through the direct conversation we gathered information about presence of family violence, neglection of rural areas and primary health care of women and high level of poverty. For example excuse for neglecting health problems they say it’s luck of time or money. It bring us to the conclusion that women in rural areas still place their needs on the bottom of family priorities. In was common to have very “vivid” discussion during sessions about women human rights between women and man fully confronted about perceptions of rights and obligations of women what is a sigh for more efforts in raising awareness about gender equality before law. As expected, men represent patriarchal attitudes about property, decision making in families and society in general. Workshop was very useful for getting information about needs, main issues and problems in rural areas.

We think that we met the main objective of raising awareness and providing information about women human rights in listed communities. We noticed raised interest of women about Law on Gender Equality and what it in real life brings to women while man were skeptical and negative about any means on discrimination based on gender. We are aware that raising awareness is a long term process but we succeeded in this short period to influence some women to ask for medical help. As direct project impact we can report that we included 7 children and 4 women in programs of support for victims of family violence.


supported by EU

The event was organized by Women’s Centre, Trebinje, Association for Support to Children and Women Victims of Torture in partnership with local NGO Eko Herc Trebinje. This manifestation which is happening for the first time in this region was formally opened by the Ambassador of European Union, Mr. Michael Humphreys, after the cocktail organized in his honor.

After the affectionate greeting, the Ambassador spoke to the participants with an appropriate speech that had a very clear message.The event took place from May 7 to May 9, 2004. Every day was devoted to a different type of activity: culture, sports, and exhibition of national heritage/traditional handicrafts. Each manifestation was very interesting for all media.


supported by UMCOR

Based on our previous experiences and through collection of information about women’s needs in the field, our organization decided to make a project with the aim to raise the level of health education of women living in rural areas, to explain them the importance of paying full attention on their own health and to introduce them with their rights from the social protection area. We decided to organize interactive educational workshops in five local communities or rural areas.

The reason for this kind of need is that women, particularly those living in rural area, do not have time or possibility to inform themselves about the importance of these issues. Their level of knowledge about these topics is very low and very often they even do not realize the rights that they have, i.e. in the social protection area. The lecturers for these educational workshops have been chosen based on their sensibility for the issues of neglected women, even from themselves, but also based on their professionalism for these topics: “Reproductive health of women and the most common reproductive organs diseases” , “Cardio-vascular illnesses and tumors – the most common causes of death of women, “Silent killers: diabetes, corpulence and high blood pressure” and “Women’s rights in the area of social protection and how to realize those within local community”.


supported by Kvinna till Kvinna

The project has three simultaneous activities:

  1. Education about reproductive health
  2. Psycho-social support team
  3. Public tribunes and two radio-shows.

1.Education about reproductive health

Every Monday, during the project year, in the period between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Doctor Vujovic Branka was present in the Women’s Centre office in order to provide advice from the health field.

Even though it was planned to provide advice from the area of reproductive health, women came with different needs and different health issues, so that the doctor also gave advice about the symptoms and medication for diarrhea, allergy, insect bites, protection from sun burn, as well as about flu and different forms of viral illnesses that have been present through this period etc. The accent was however on the most common women’s diseases such as: cancer of the cervix of the uterus, breast cancer, heart illnesses, diabetes, overweight and cholesterol. It is important to mention a high number of women who asked for advice about breast-feeding and contraception. It has been noticed that there is a high interest for the contraception pills called “a day after”, which indicates that only a small number of women is using preventative contraception methods. It was also noticed that a high percentage of women are smokers, even more then men.

The total number of women was 372, who asked for doctor’s advice in the office, and through the telephone 57. Those women who asked for advice are usually aged 35 and up we had more visits from women in the second half of the project year.

2. Psycho-social support team

Team for psycho – social support, consisting of a graduated social worker Danica Rašovic and a graduated clinical psychologist Ljiljana Špuran-Kneževic, was present in the Women’s Centre office every Tuesday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in order to provide help, support and information to those women who asked for it.

The total number of women who asked for different forms of support is 292, many of them came more then one time. 47 women came to our office because of domestic violence from their husbands, but a much higher number asked for help on the telephone line without wanting to identify them selves. According to our beneficiaries, most of them did not ask for support in other institutions.

The women did not come only during the planned time for the work of this team, but they came at any time of the day. Very often, on the request of the victim, the coordinator had to talk with them as a first contact. These first contacts were often in a local cafe bar (on the request of the women), since this first contact is the most important and to feel safe when they finally are brave enough to talk to us.

There were situations when the psycho-social team left their regular work (Centre for Social Work) in order to come to the Women’s Centre office and to have a conversation with a victim. The team also went directly in the field 9 times in families and used the Centre for Social Work to try to contribute to the conflict resolution

It has also happened that minor children came to report violence on them from another person, and once a violent husband came to the center and asked if we could help him to get the custody for his children. In one case, when a victim came to ask for help in our office, her violent husband came up and we worked then with the victim and the violator at the same time.

In average, each of the victims has three children and in 30% of cases children have been direct victims in 70% they were non-direct victims, because everything happened in front of their eyes. We have also records about several cases where the mother was violent to their children.

Group discussions with victims of domestic violence:

The team for psychosocial support worked individually with the victims with the aim to strengthen their personalities, but they also organized, during the project year, groups for discussion on following topics:

  • Who are victims of domestic violence – a picture about themselves;
  • Victims of domestic violence – my feelings
  • Rage and how to overcome it
  • Stress and how to overcome it
  • Communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Rage and how to overcome it – relaxation skills
  • Violent and non-violent communication
  • How to understand better others and myself

Mini school of feminism:

The team for psychosocial support also organized a Mini school of feminism for young women aged from 15 to 25, members of local NGOs. Through the Mini school of feminism went 23 young women. In average, 15 to 18 young women participated on workshops.

3. Public tribunes and two radio-shows.

Within this Project we organized 10 public tribunes under the slogan “Women vote for women”.

On all public tribunes appropriate written materials have been handed out such as Law about gender equality, Law about local administration, our brochure “Domestic violence in municipality Trebinje”.

During all these tribunes it became clear that there are no gender awareness within the women politicians about the deepness of violence against women.

It became also clear that the “ordinary” women can not see women human rights as a political question. They are not interested in political matters especially concerning women and they do not see the importance of gender sensitive politicians.

The most important thing to say is that we have grown into an important factor in the area of creation of social policy in the local community and wider. We have become more and more recognizable! We are part of the group for the elaboration of a program for protection of children from violence on the state level organized by the Ministry for human rights and refugees BH, we participated in the working group for the elaboration of minimum standards for windows organized by the State coordinator BiH, we accepted membership in the CEI Network. We started initiative for changing Law on travel documentation, from which parents who got the trustee on children mostly benefited from. Also we participated in establishing legal experts group for new draft Law on violence protection. We took participation in many humanitarian activities in our region.