Annual Report 2013


supported by OAK Foundation

Three-year general support that the OAK Foundation provided to our organization is of key importance for the work and development of our organization and for the general benefit of the society (regarding women, particularly from vulnerable categories) within the local community and on the entity, state and regional level.

Our organization has a three-year plan and program. During the first year and owing the support of the OAK Foundation, we were able to accomplish numerous results and participate on a number of seminars, meetings and educations, which contributes to the development of our capacities.

Objective 1.Support to victims of domestic violence through a number of direct services.

– The prosecution in RS is divided into 5 units and in the unit in which we provide free legal aid and representation in court, the court pronounced more temporary measures for protection of victims of domestic violence that in all four other units.

-Support provided through the SOS help line and by in person arrivals in the counselling for 89 victims of domestic violence .

– Cooperation with institutions on a very high level, which serves as an example of good practice in the region and wider, including the Town of Trebinje that included in the budget for 2014 funds for purchase of land for construction of a Safe House.

Objective 2. Promotion of economic empowerment of socially vulnerable women.

– Owing the support of the Town of Trebinje, we obtained for free usage a public area size 500 m² to implement the Medieval Market Place every Saturday from May to September. Around 30 persons benefited from this (9 women victims of domestic violence and 22 persons living in poverty) – from various vocations and making various handicrafts. Medieval Market Place became a recognizable tourist brand and a number of media in the country and abroad reported about it. It is also a tourist attraction of the Town that has been included in the supply of tourist agencies.

– Women from vulnerable categories received the chance to increase their budgets through implementation of the Ethno Room .

– On the local level, municipality Gacko introduced in their budget for 2014 non-refundable fund for women victims of domestic violence while the Town of Trebinje included this activity into its Municipal Gender Action Plan for the period 2014/2016. On the Entity level, our proposals will be discussed in the first quarter of 2014 by the Counselling Board within the RS Ministry for Family, Youth and Sports and in accordance with the decision of RS Government.

– Five women victims of domestic violence trained in making business plans in Berkovici. On the basis of this training, one of them received non-refundable funds that this municipality included into its budget.

Objective 3. Conduction of research, monitoring and lobbying for improvement of women’s position in the society and adoption and implementation of laws that protect women’s rights, particularly women victims of domestic violence.

– Established communication with the Safe Network (we expect their invitation for a meeting) and a number of other women’s NGOs and successful women from the media, economy and governing positions, so that they can fight for a better status of women on all levels

Objective 4. Strengthening the sustainability of Zenski centar Trebinje through external fund raising, creation of local sources of income and support to the wellbeing of employees and other relevant stakeholders.

– Thirty professionals from Eastern Herzegovina (police officers, social workers and our organization) participated in a high quality training entitled “Burning out of professionals”

Though some of our listed activities were supported by other donors through specific projects, we cannot exclude the impact of the OAK Foundation because their form of support through general funding enabled us to react in situations where we did not have sufficient funds for a specific project or where we recognize during implementation that it is necessary to conduct additional unforeseen project activities in order to achieve some of the listed goals. In these cases, we were able to react owing the support of the OAK Foundation. Owing multiple-year support, we were able to develop the most successful example of multidisciplinary approach to combat domestic and other forms of violence on women and girls, which can be best seen in the summing up of results in municipality Trebinje in the bellow report during the action “16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM”.


In the period from December 3, 2013 to December 5, 2013, members of the association “Zenski centar” Trebinje marked 16 Days of activism and organized meetings of the multidisciplinary team in all Eastern Herzegovina municipalities with representatives from institutions who are signatories of the Agreement on Cooperation. This year “16 Days of Activism” has been marked in such a way that our members organized in all municipalities street actions to distribute promotional material on violence on women and girls. Materials that we distributed originally come from the Gender Centre of the Republic of Srpska, the OAK Foundation and the organization “Kvinna till Kvinna”. In addition to distribution of promotional material on the streets of Eastern Herzegovina municipalities, we also organized bimonthly meetings.

On all above listed meetings, news have been presented concerning the work of NGO “Zenski centar” in the past period as well as planned activities for the future period. Ljiljana informed the participants on these meetings about the support that the Centre received from the local community in form of funds that are foreseen in the rebalanced budget of the Town of Trebinje for 2014, which are intended for purchase of land for construction of the Safe House for women victims of domestic violence from the Eastern Herzegovina region.

Institutional representatives from Nevesinje informed us about new cases of violence that occurred in the past period in this municipality as well as about repeated violence in several cases that were known to this centre in the past. The centre immediately organized certain actions in order to provide support to women victims of violence in these cases and harmonize our work with the work of institutions.

There were no new recorded cases of violence in Gacko since our last meeting, i.e. as the participants stated “no new cases were reported”.

Institutional representatives from Ljubinje also emphasized that there were no cases of domestic violence or marital community reported in this Eastern Herzegovina municipality.

On meetings that were held in Berkovici and Bileca, participants focused in particular on violence in schools and round it and said that this form of violence is in expansion. We offered the help of our centre in form of education that would be led by qualified persons and all participants welcomed this idea.

In addition, all participants know about the project that this Centre plans to implement in the forthcoming period, which concerns education of women from vulnerable categories, rural areas etc. The education will include training for these women in writing of projects and business plans, which would provide them with instruments for further economic empowerment and improvement of their overall position. This project will encompass members from local organizations and our members.

In Trebinje, we summed up a number of joint activities and the meeting was also attended by the representative for BH from the Swedish women’s organization Kvinna till Kvinna, Ms. Belma Becirbasic who was able to see directly our activities in the field and the cooperation with signatories of the Protocol. Representatives of the OSCE participated on the meeting in Trebinje and representatives of the LOT EUFOR team in BH on the meetings in Bileca. We spoke about specific cases of violence, significant increase of domestic violence in this town (nearly doubled) and joint actions that we need to conduct in any particular case. We agreed that all institutions, including private nurseries, schools, police, prosecution, health centre, media, Red Cross, Municipality and centre for social work gave their contribution in cooperation with our organization aimed to combat domestic violence. Red Cross is becoming involved with clothing, medications, food and sometimes financial sources. Nurseries enable for two children from families with violence free services – each of the 4 nurseries – and, so far, dozens of children used this support from the signing of the agreement on cooperation in 2005. The health centre provides free injury sheets and issues a drawing with the injury sheet that we have provided them with and keeps records on the relationship between the victim and perpetrator from 2005, which has become a legal obligation in RS only recently. In addition, victims of domestic violence have the right to a free ultrasound check up with vaginal probe because we enabled the donation of this apparatus to the Health Centre Trebinje. All primary and secondary schools cooperate directly with us regarding specific cases of children whom they recognize as victims, including the involvement of our organization and the Children’s Day care centre that was part of our organization but we separated it as an independent organization. They provide psychological support to children, free help in all school matters – math classes, languages etc. but they are in constant communication with psychologists and head teachers of their beneficiaries, various playrooms and a health and hygiene person who cares about prevention. Media cover all our activities, such as this one and they often organize themselves programs on this topic, which certainly contributes to awareness raising of the population. With the prosecution and the new Director of the Centre for social work, we significantly improved our cooperation in terms of synchronized support to the victim. We have an excellent cooperation with the police, which was the case from the signing of the agreement.


supported by Kvinna till Kvinna

Owing the support of Kvinna till Kvinna within this 18-month project, in the first 12 months we were able:

– To train 5 women victims of domestic violence in making of business plans in the extremely underdeveloped municipality Berkovici;

– One woman victim of domestic violence in Berkovici receives 2000 KM non-refundable funds on the basis of her business plans;

– Two other municipalities – in addition to Berkovici – in Eastern Herzegovina introduced in their budgets 2000 KM non-refundable funds in 2014 for one woman victim of domestic violence in each municipality aimed at her economic empowerment (Nevesinje) and municipality Trebinje included in its Municipal Gender Action Plan these new budgets items for women victims of domestic violence

– In order to develop internal organizational capacities, we trained 5 of our members in project writing towards EU and 8 of our members attended supervision, i.e. a four-day training in freeing from stress

– We engaged a lobbyist to support us in finding new donors and funds for our organization

– We arrived in the final stage and to the final decision of the RS Government to adopt a package of economic measures to support economic empowerment of women victims of domestic violence on the entity level, which we expect in the first quarter of 2014.


supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway to BH

The project included preparative activities, such as:

  • Purchase of necessary equipment (copying machine, computer and amateur camera);
  • Purchase of raw materials for work (wool and cotton thread);
  • Purchase and making of costumes for knights (10 cloaks for knights and 20 tunics for exhibitors);
  • Invitation and selection for 60 women from vulnerable categories (Roma, women victims of domestic violence, disabled women, women from multi-member families living in poverty, rural women), unemployed young people and people living in poverty;
  • Meeting of the Focus group

After the listed purchases were made, we informed citizens about the project through posters, local station Radio Trebinje, web portal, and through contact in-person (from our base of beneficiaries) and invited them to register if they belong to one of the categories. There were 75 persons who registered for this activity and we enabled for 60 of them from vulnerable categories participation on the market place and/or provided raw work materials.

For all purchases, we provided three offers and selected the most suitable. We made appropriate cloaks for knights and cotton tunics for exhibitors on the market.

We organized a meeting of the Focus group and invited representatives of those groups that, in our opinion, might be interested – Museum Hercegovina, Music school, ITC RT RS Trebinje, Gallery on Crkvina, Academy of Fine Arts, horse riding club “Vranac”, Town theatre and the City of Trebinje. We used the opportunity to present the project through RTRS to wider BH public and not only to the Focus group. There were specific and useful proposals on this meeting, e.g. representatives of the Academy of Fine Arts proposed participation of their students, which has been realized (,, In addition, a strategy has been prepared for development of this tourist and cultural event “medieval market place” as a brand that included selection of the locality (it should be the green market area) and to work on inclusion of as many exhibitors as possible. In general, we agreed that this project is a good basis for branding of this event in the forthcoming period being aware of existing possibilities for development of the City through tourism and culture.

Unfortunately, the Tourist organization of the City did not recognize the importance and significance of this project for development of tourism and did not contribute to it in any form.

After implementation of preparative activities from January to April, we started on May, 4 to organize Mediaeval market places every Saturday (18 market places organized though the project foresees 17) from 09:00 t0 14:00. The opening of the market place has been organized by our organization and a representative from the City of Trebinje addressed to the citizens in presence of a number of media (RT RS, BH1, ATV, agency Srna, Avaz, Glas Trebinja, Glas Srpske, Radio Trebinje, Radio Korona, web portals) who reported on this event: (,, – here, we had 5 6129 likes

It is important to emphasize that the citizens were thrilled not only with the activities (handicrafts, wine, blacksmith, making of wooden furniture, painters, bookbinders, making regattas from wood, work in stained glass, pottery etc.) but also with the setting (from unique stands that were spotted by a film team, which asked for it for their recording as part of their film scene until selection of animators in costumes – painters with their school for children (, court jester, belly dancer, archaic chanting. The knights were also a huge attraction and they were photographed very often in their cloaks by tourists, including joint pictures. Some of the foreign tourists recorded with their cameras the whole market place, including its setting and offer. In their statements for media and in our surveys, tourists gave excited comments regarding this event. The analysis of surveys with exhibitors showed that all of them had a multiple benefit from this project, including:

– Financial benefit (free raw materials, direct sale on the medieval market place, orders for future work);

– Visibility (particularly because these are people who did not have any visibility – media attention, leaflets that we handed out to tourists and tourist agencies ) and being recognizable. In this way, craftsmen from the Kovac family gained on visibility after they exposed on our market place and we were contacted by journalists who asked for their contact details. The result is this report

The evaluation of surveys with exhibitors showed that, in average, the financial effect has been increased by 30% in relation to previous period. Some of them had more than 50% and for some this was the motive to register for the first time and start to make handicrafts and work with stained glass. A benefit from the project was also the possibility to continue their work and exhibit their products and services in the Ethno Room, which our organization opened in August, 2013 as a building up of this project. Currently, the Ethno Room is being used by around 20 women who continued their work after the end of the medieval market place. We opened the Ethno Room owing to the support provided by the Embassy of Switzerland to BH and the OAK Foundation (,, We are preparing the web site for the Ethno Room and their support included purchase of machines, including a loom and rental for premises until January 31, 2014. Our intention is to develop capacities of members of the Ethno Room (education to work on the loom, education in project writing, leadership, financial operating and marketing) in order to encourage them to register in the future as an independent Association of women who will support the development and affirmation of old vocations in their future work. It would gather jeopardized groups and continue to maintain the “medieval market place”.

During a number of visits to tourist agencies in Dubrovnik and Montenegro, we defined the offer of one-day visits for the overall satisfaction. So far, we had visits from listed tour operators who were pleased with the offer and they will offer it to their clients in the next season. In interviews with them, we received a number of useful advices that we can apply in the next season and these relate to the decoration for the medieval market place.

The project accomplished entirely its goals and planned results and, thus, it justified the support obtained.


supported by the Open Society Institute

One part of the stated project that relates to research of effects of court practice that treats domestic violence in the RS has been transferred to 2013. That part refers to the research that we are conducting in partnership with NGO “Lara” and it is currently in the final stage. That means that the publication in Serbian and English will be accomplished in January, 2014.


supported by the Embassy of Switzerland to BH

This project is for 20 women from vulnerable categories who have been identified in our earlier activities, i.e. the Medieval Market Place. This project enabled them to receive premises where they could not only exhibit their handicrafts but also use it to make their works and spend time together. In addition, we organize from time to time for them interactive educations from the field of domestic violence.


supported by Filia die frauenstiftung

This project started at the end of 2013 and will be continued in 2014. We want to achieve following goals through this project:

Project goal 1 is insight into situation in the field, problems and needs of girls and women themselves who are victims of multiple discrimination but also insight into work of activists who fight against violence and discrimination on girls and women in Eastern Herzegovina.

Project goal 2 is elaboration of a three-year strategy to fight domestic violence and discrimination on girls and women in Eastern Herzegovina.

These goals have a local character and we plan to influence the local community level, i.e. raising the awareness of the population and influence local authority structures relating to introduction of economic measures of support in form of non-refundable funds for victims (our beneficiaries) aimed at their economic empowerment. In this case, this would ensure multiple benefits for our target group because it will contribute to their economic independence but also to their socialization and integration. The consolidation and channeling of activism according to the principle of informal networking and coverage of all Eastern Herzegovina municipalities contributes to empowerment of victims from our target group to speak out about violence on them and report it.


supported by Canada Fund for Local Initatives

This project started at the end of 2013 and will be continued in 2014. We want to achieve following goals through this project:

Long-term goal is improvement of life quality of women from vulnerable categories in the underdeveloped Eastern Herzegovina region.

Short-term goal 1 is to contribute to development of personal capacities of 120 women from vulnerable categories through acquisition of new knowledge and skills regarding preparation of business plans and projects in the extremely underdeveloped Eastern Herzegovina region.

Short-term goal 2 is contribution to development of capacities of six undeveloped local organizations in the extremely underdeveloped Eastern Herzegovina region.

Links where you can learn more about activities: