Southeast European Youth Network – SEEYN
Awards for developing the volunteering
On 21 September 2006, the Southeast European Youth Network has presented the awards for developing the volunteering. The winners were 13 organizations and individuals from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Even though this award has had a long running tradition, this year it was presented for the first time on local level. SEEYN has been presenting awards on local level in the past within the International Volunteering Day.
“This is not an award to compete for since there are no good or bad volunteers”, says Elmira Meshanovikj, SEEYN director. All volunteers are good, they are excellent”, she added. “SEEYN decided to give the awards to the most representative examples, and everyone else deserves certificates of gratitude and support in their work”, says Meshanovikj.
All individuals and organizations from different sectors including the non-governmental and the governmental sector, show-business and business sector, etc., are eligible candidates for the awards. SEEYN members participate with individuals or organizations from their countries respectively. The independent board of the Network’s Secretariat selects the winners.
This year, the awarding ceremony took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, within the regional manifestation “SEEYN Days of Volunteering”. Since Sarajevo is a canton declared as European Region for 2006, the SEEYN Award for Volunteering 2006 is represented as the symbol of Sarajevo (a clapper on a door). The winners have also received an exhibition in the shape of postcards called “There is no rest while the reconstruction is going on” by the artist Aleksandra Nina Knezevikj.
At the same time, the winners of the SEEYN Award were offered an opportunity for cooperation on the SEEYN Programme for 2007/2008.
Who won the awards?
Awards are given in several categories. The award for government institution volunteering went to the Administrative Service of Banja Luka for their support in the creation of the Local Volunteering Service, which is open for all institutions and civil society organizations providing space for 300 volunteers who are active on their community. Another award in this category was given to Mrs. Cvetana Plavsha Matikj, director of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development from Croatia, for her contribution in the promoting of volunteering by providing grants for civil society organizations and establishing an award (A stamp on the heart), as well as for organizing two national conferences on volunteering and for the special programme for developing the volunteering and her involvement in the preparation of the Law on volunteering in Croatia.
In the Award for a Company category, the winners were: PC Kids, a company which, in the last four years has raised nearly one million convertible marks for the construction and returning the houses to the returnees and the displaced people. The staff at PC Kids were volunteering throughout the whole action, and they have also organized a number of other action in the community. The second award in this category went to the Zagreb electrical tram for the support of the local and international volunteers for which they provide free monthly tickets and a free ride.
The award for an outstanding volunteering organization was given to the SOS-phone line for women and children-victims of family violence for their 10-year work in the field of finding local volunteers and providing excellent help to their beneficiaries.
The award for an outstanding organization which has mobilized volunteers went to the research association “Vladimir Madnikj Manda” from Valjevo, Serbia for their great work and enthusiasm shown in the activities for reconstructing the old premises and the construction of the Youth Centre.
The award for making outstanding efforts for volunteering went to Ida Karaperikj, who established the first local volunteering centre in Bihac, after having worked as a volunteer herself for a log time; and to Slobodan Puzovikj who invested his professionalism combined with volunteering in the protection of Obedska Bara, one of the oldest protected zones in Europe.
The award for volunteering was shared by Milan Mishkovikj from the informal Macedonian group which organized the humanitarian concert for raising money for the treatment of the 25-yer old Marjan Ristevski and DOSTA movement from Bosnia and Herzegovina for their activities in the field of solving young people’s problems.
The award for philanthropy in the show business went to Enis Beshlagikj, an actor from Bosnia and Hezegovina, for his participation in a number of humanitarian concerts and actions and to Rambo Amadeus from Montenegro, also for his humanitarian concerts and his participation in the action for saving the fir trees.
One extra award has been given to the independent TV station Hayat for following the work of and promoting a number of NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for their participation in many humanitarian actions.