Today, in the International Portrait Gallery, the Tuzla Community Foundation signed agreements with representatives of civil society organizations for the implementation of local initiatives to improve living conditions in Tuzla Canton. Activists are entering the New 2022 year ready to implement 22 civic initiatives, for which over 55,000 BAM have been provided from the I Love My City Fund.
The coordinator of the financial support program, Selma Memišević, pointed out that the interest of citizens was great, and that the Grants Commission reviewed 61 applications received for the last public call this year: “We believe that with these initial funds we will initiate changes in communities, especially those that are underdeveloped and neglected, and in this way work on strengthening the leadership skills of individuals and organizations. I must emphasize that these projects will encourage cooperation between the civil, public and business sectors. It is important for us that citizens get involved on their own initiative, in order to work on strengthening and developing their communities through inter-sectoral cooperation, in order to ultimately improve the quality of life.”
The large number of applications received in the Public Call for this Fund is proof that active citizenship in Tuzla Canton exists, and that citizens know how to appreciate and take advantage of opportunities. The realization of these projects will encourage the participation of citizens in solving problems and cooperation with representatives of the civil, business sector and government.
The Association of Deaf Persons Živince, which will educate city officials on the basics of communication with deaf persons and persons who have hearing problems with its project “Sign Language Course in Živinice”, is just an example of such cooperation. “Every time we visit institutions, we have to have a sign language interpreter, which is a big obstacle to performing basic duties. Therefore, through this project we will work with employees in public institutions, city service, police and health institutions, to teach them the basics of communication with people who have hearing difficulties”, says the president of this association Vehid Fejzić.
Small initiatives that citizens launch in their communities are often the beginning of solving bigger problems. Special attention is paid to initiatives that improve the position of marginalized groups. Thus, the Athletic Club Sloboda Tehnograd, through the project of improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and their integration into the community and empowerment through sports and recreational activities, will work on the issues that children with disabilities face every day, as well as the obvious lack of content for this marginalized group of our youngest residents, said Kada Delić Selimović, director of this association. The focus of the project is on contributing to a more inclusive environment in our community with the six-month training program.
In 2022, the Tuzla Community Foundation will again support local citizens’ initiatives within this Fund through two public calls in the spring and autumn.