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Association “Parent” – Belgrade (Serbian Parents Network) profile
Association “Parent” is an association of citizens founded in 2006 in Belgrade, Serbia. Soon, it bacame Serbian Parents Network (SPN) with 15 grass-root branches in 15 different local communities. The organization is membership based, politically independent, non-governmental and non-profit. Our mission is to support and advocate better conditions for parenthood and childhood in Serbia.
Association “Parent” in Belgrade implements various sets of activities such as advocacy and awareness campaigns, workshops, counseling… We implement our activities throughout various program areas related to parents and children protection and support. Our values are aligned with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, human rights and gender equality. Therefore, our scope of topics are: violence prevention, healthcare awareness, social issues, early childhood development and education and more. We advocate the development of an inclusive society by increasing visibility and participation of marginalized groups in the field of social and economic policy.
We advocate for the improvement of policies and practices that affect children and parents at the local and national level. Above all, we focus on vulnerable groups such as: single parents and single-parent families, children with disabilities and their families, parents and children from minority groups.
Promotion and protection of children’s rights.
Advocating Human Rights and Gender Equality and Labor Rights for Women:
- protection/prevention of women discrimination and mobbing, particularly maternity gender-based (pregnant women and nursing mothers),
- promoting the importance of prevention of all forms of violence directed at children.
Improvement of Healthcare:
Advocating for improvement of healthcare of children and the young, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- promotion and protection of women’s reproductive health and breastfeeding,
- promoting importance of proper early childhood development and
- promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Improvement social protection:
- poverty reduction: higher and more efficient budget allocation for children and families,
- social protection and social inclusion of children and families especially vulnerable and marginalized groups: single mothers/parents, parents of children with disabilities and parents with disabilities.
Improvement of educational setting:
- supporting the process of inclusive education,
- promotion of best practices and developing programs focused on early learning and early childhood development,
- strengthening parental competencies through participation in decision-making in the education system,
- promotion of child participation in the creation of national and local education policies.
Our association has over 50 volunteers (citizens, our members and students). Moreover, we have established great cooperation with many other CSOs, governmental institutions, local self-governments and independent bodies.
Serbian Parents Network is one of the founders and a member of Serbian CSOs network for children (MODS).
Main projects and activities:
Most of our activities, advocacy and awareness campaigns are mainly volunteer based.
We are engaged in all-areas of parental support since 2006.
Some of our main activities are: thematic and counseling workshops, peer support, advocacy and awareness campaigns, etc.
More than 7 years of providing parental support and counseling services enabled us to grow into a strong network of professionals. For instance, we have a big team of psychologists, psychotherapists, special educators, pediatricians, speech therapists and other. Also, we have numerous trained peer counselors.
Over the past several years we dedicated special attention to the projects and activities related to early childhood development programs, violence and child abuse prevention programs.
Continuously –voluntary based:
Parenting Info Center is online and telephone info center, available to parents 7 days a week.
Topics covered are: Children’s safety in car-seats, Children’s safety in cyber space, Breastfeeding peer-to-peer support.
Advocacy /awareness non-budget campaigns:
“Positive parenting” –awareness campaign for banning the corporal punishment of children, led by MODS; we are one of the 6 core organizations, 2014.
- “Rights for mothers” – to change the flawed procedures of reimbursement payments to employed mothers on maternity leave; we are one of the 3 core organization, 2013/14. (Successful, the Law changed in 2015/16.)
- “Vote for babies”– campaign for the elimination / reduction of VAT on children’s equipment (2012); we were one of the 5 core organizations, but almost every MODS member took part. (Successful, the Law changed in 2012)
- “Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative – Plus”– campaign for revival and improvement of BFHI in Serbian hospitals and for promoting/supporting breastfeeding;we are the only organization in Serbia dealing with this topic, since 2006 till present.
- “Early Childhood Development Center”– program for preschool children and their parents. Moreover, the program supports and strengthens parental competences. It is supported by UNICEF Serbia, 2012– 2016 and Secretariat for child care of City of Belgrade, 2012 -2016.
- “Parental involvement in schools” – strengthening parental competences and establishing Parent Councils in local communities. Supported by Fund for an Open Society Serbia, 2011–2014 (Ongoing, leading applicant)
- “Jointly against violence” – local advocacy campaign for improvement of mechanisms for the protection of children from violence at the local level. The goal is to establish local coordinating body for prevention, protection and monitoring. Project supported BCIF (Balkan Community Initiative Fund, granted by British embassy 2010, leading applicant) and UNICEF Serbia, 2012/13 (project partner with 5 more CSO’s MODS members).
- “Jointly against corruption” – advocacy and media campaign focused on the problem of corruption in reproductive health services. Supported by UNDP, 2011(leading applicant)
Also, from its beginning, SPN is a relevant partner by all media (on national and local level). This is confirmed in the Press clipping section on our web site www.roditelj.org with numerous media reports.