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Report on research:“Strenghts and Difficulties of Children at Nest Centres in B&H”

In foundation has published the Report on research named: “Strenghts and Difficulties of Children at Nest Centres in B&H”. Report has shown that children at risk, due to very unsafe and unstable family environment, burdened with multiple risk factors do have lower self-esteem, problems in emotional domain, conduct problems, and problems with peers, and perceived as hyperactive.

Although there are no significant difference between referral and group of children at risk in academic achievements, life aspirations of children at risk are lower than in the group of their peers.

Protective factors like safe and secure place, care and supporting relationship with adults, good role models, support available in critical life times and access to support service can play significant role in overcoming problems in functioning, therefore, Nest centres can play important role in preventive activities in child social environment.  

Research report Strenghts and difficulties of children at Nest centres in BiH

Posted in category: News, date 11.03.2014

Call for proposal- Roma children and education

In Foundation has focused its work into thematic field of prevention of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Roma children are at high risk to experience violence in their lives; however, they are facing other severe problems that need to be addressed prior to prevention of violence. Getting better access to education will significantly improve their life chances and will lead towards reduced risk of violence. Too many Roma children are not attending regular schools, and if so, they are at high dropout risk before reaching the end of their primary education and obtaining their diploma.

Therefore, IN foundation is opening thematic call for proposal with a specific focus on the topic of: 

Roma children and education 

 Call for a proposal is open for locally registered NGOs, operating in the area of B&H, with expertise in this work-field. Preference in this call for proposal is given to Roma NGOs or NGOs in which Roma people are adequately represented in board and as staff members.

The NGOs that receive support of the Roma Education Fund (REF) will not be taken into consideration.  

 NGOs are invited to prepare project proposals focusing on improvement of preparation for school, access to (preschool) education and providing tutorial support to Roma children in the main-stream education. Organizations are encouraged to include activities with parents, like support in developing positive parental skills (some information and proposed model of work can be found on our web site: http://www.infondacija.org/en/the-let%E2%80%99s-grow-together-project in their applications. 

 Project proposals should be innovative, including methodology and interventions appropriate for the target group. Applications should be contributing to a better inclusion of Roma children in main-stream education. Mobilization of volunteers, advocating for changes in the community and promotion of active participation of beneficiary groups should be one of the key components of the project. 

 Proposed budget of each applicant should be in the range of 5.000-20.000 Euros. Budgetary contribution by the applicant or by other sources is not required, but is encouraged and will be taken into consideration in the selection procedure.  

 Project duration- depending on project activities, should be up to 12 months.   

 Selection criteria: the advisory commission of the INF will select applicants on the basis of the following criteria:

-         Relevance

-         Demonstrated experience in working in the thematic area of Roma children and education, including capacity to organize and implement participatory processes and/or training of professionals

-         Proposed action and methodology

-         Demonstrated advocacy capacity and experience

-         Proposed budget

-         Motivation to cooperate with others and

-         Readiness to contribute to network activities.

All additional information, as well as application forms, including the list of required additional documents, and information about financing criteria, can be found on our web site: http://www.infondacija.org/en/criteria-for-financing.

Deadline for submission of applications is Monday, April 28, 2014 by 12.00 hours, by regular mail (express mail delivery is not acceptable), to our post box, as indicated in the application form.

 Email: info@infondacija.ba

Facebook: www.facebook.com/infondacija

Posted in category: News, date 03.03.2014

Call for proposal

In Foundation, in cooperation and with the financial support of Stitching Kinderpostzegels, Netherlands will focus its work into thematic field of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for coming period. The issue of prevention of violence has been selected as one of the crucial programmatic areas and overarched with the common programmatic title “Zero tolerance to violence in the lives of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

Breaking the cycle of violence in the lives of children in B&H is expected to contribute to the decrease of child abuse and neglect, and will reduce the risk of children, later to become victims or perpetrators of violence. 

Therefore, In Foundation is opening a call for proposal for locally registered NGOs with expertise in the work-field of violence, operating in the area of B&H, to prepare a project application focusing on one of two main topics:

-         Prevention of peer-violence at school

-         Gender-based violence prevention.

Project proposals should be innovative, including methodology and interventions appropriate for the target group, contributing to the reduction of violence in the lives of children in BiH. Mobilization of volunteers, advocating for changes in the community and promotion of active participation of beneficiary groups should be one of the key components of the project. For activities in schools, we expect the school staff to be empowered to execute the activities independently after a while. 

Proposed budget of each applicant should be in the range of 5.000-20.000 Euros. Budgetary contribution by the applicant or by other sources is not required, but is encouraged and will be take into consideration in the selection procedure. 

Project duration - depending on project activities, should be up to 12 months.  

Selection criteria: the advisory commission of the INF will select applicants on the basis of the following criteria:

-         Relevance

-         Demonstrated experience in working in the thematic area of violence, including capacity to organize and implement participatory processes and/or training of professionals

-         Proposed action and methodology

-         Demonstrated advocacy capacity and experience

-         Proposed budget

-         Motivation to cooperate with others and

-         Readiness to contribute to network activities.

All additional information, as well as application forms, including the list of required additional documents, and information about financing criteria, can be found on our web site http://www.infondacija.org/en/criteria-for-financing

Deadline for submission of applications is Monday, April 28, 2014 by 12.00 hours, by regular mail (express mail delivery is not acceptable), to our post box, as indicated in the application form.

Email: info@infondacija.ba

Facebook: www.facebook.com/infondacija

Posted in category: News, date 03.03.2014

The third round of the project “Support to parents in strengthening positive parenting skills – Let’s grow up together”

In September, INF started the third round of the project “Support to parents in strengthening positive parenting skills – Let’s grow up together”.

The initial training for team leaders on how to run workshops with parents was organized in Sarajevo, from September 9-11. Workshop was organized for 29 new trainees from 8 kindergartens (Bihac, Bosanska Krupa, Jajce, Vitez, Novi Travnik, Mostar, Tuzla and Sarajevo) and two non-governmental organizations (Association of Citizens – Grahovo and the Center for Children, Youth and Family- Laktaši). The training was also attended by The Head for Pre-school education of the RS Ministry of Education and Culture and the Pre-school supervisor from the Pedagogical Institute of the RS.

In addition to this group, and in the coordination with the trainers, INF also  conducted training for 6 previously certified team leaders, who were trained for the role of regional supervisors in the program Let’s grow up together, in BiH.

After training, participants were given materials for the realization of workshops with parents in their local communities. Workshops with parents are planned to start by mid-October 2013.

Posted in category: News, date 16.09.2013

New Nest centers opened in BiH

In Foundation organized a second concept workshop for five new Nest centers in BiH, from 2-4. September 2013. NGOs, who responded to the call for proposals of INF, and have been selected as the bearers of the project, come from the Bosansko Grahovo, Jablanica, Modriča, Prijedor, and Zenica. After a three-day introductory training, Nest centers staff was given basic knowledge of the methodological approach that is developed through the previous four-year project, “Today’s children, tomorrow’s parents”

The main role of a day care center is to provide a safe space for children at risk. Through preventive activities for children, Centre provides support with the aim to strengthen self-confidence, acceptable forms of behavior, to improve school performance, position among peers, as well as to strengthen children’s involvement and participation, thus ensuring better protection of children in their immediate and wider environment. Support to children in the centers is provided in accordance with their individual needs.

Day- care centers are starting their activities with children as of September 09, 2013 and along with six centers from the first generation, they are part of the family of 11 active centers, safeguarding protection and welfare of children in BiH.

Posted in category: News, date 09.09.2013

Call for proposal – Roma children and education, Deadline August 12, 2013

In Foundation, in cooperation, and with the financial support of Stichting Kinderpostzegels, Netherlands, has focused its work into thematic field of prevention of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The issue of violence has been selected as one of the crucial programmatic areas with the aim to adequately respond to this growing social problem, which will be overarched with the common programmatic title “Zero tolerance to violence in the lives of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

Breaking the cycle of violence in the lives of children in B&H is expected to contribute to the decrease of child abuse and neglect.

Roma children are also at risk to experience violence in their lives; however, they are facing other severe problems that need to be addressed prior to prevention of violence. Getting better access to education will significantly improve their life chances and will lead towards reduced risk of violence. Too many Roma children are not attending regular schools, and if so, they are at high dropout risk before reaching the end of their primary education and obtaining their diploma.

Therefore, IN foundation is opening thematic call for proposal with a specific focus on the topic of: 

Roma children and education 

Call for a proposal is open for locally registered NGOs, operating in the area of B&H, with expertise in this work-field. Preference in this call for proposal is given to Roma NGOs or NGOs in which Roma people are adequately represented in board and as staff members.

The NGOs that receive support of the Roma Education Fund (REF) will not be taken into consideration. 

NGOs are invited to prepare project proposals focusing on improvement of preparation for school, access to (preschool) education and providing tutorial support to Roma children in the main-stream education. Organizations are encouraged to include activities with parents, like support in developing positive parental skills (some information and proposed model of work can be found on our web site: http://www.infondacija.org/en/the-let%E2%80%99s-grow-together-project in their applications. 

Project proposals should be innovative, including methodology and interventions appropriate for the target group. Applications should be contributing to a better inclusion of Roma children in main-stream education. Mobilization of volunteers, advocating for changes in the community and promotion of active participation of beneficiary groups should be one of the key components of the project. 

Proposed budget of each applicant should be in the range of 5.000-20.000 Euros. Budgetary contribution by the applicant or by other sources is not required, but is encouraged and will be taken into consideration in the selection procedure.  

Project duration, depending on project activities, should be up to 12 months.   

Selection criteria: the advisory commission of the INF will select applicants on the basis of the following criteria:

-         Eligibility

-         Relevance

-         Demonstrated experience in working in the thematic area of Roma children and education, including capacity to organize and implement participatory processes and/or training of professionals

-         Proposed action and methodology

-         Demonstrated advocacy capacity and experience

-         Proposed budget. 

All additional information, as well as application forms, including the list of required additional documents, and information about financing criteria, can be found on our web site: http://www.infondacija.org/en/criteria-for-financing.

Call for application is opened as of  Thursday 20, 2013 and deadline for submission of applications is Monday, August 12, 2013, by 12.00 hours, by regular mail (express mail delivery is not acceptable), to our post box, as indicated in the application form.

Posted in category: News, date 20.06.2013

Second annual conference – Let’s grow up together

At the end of the second round of the project `Support to the parents in developing and strengthening positive parental skills` In foundation organized Second Annual Conference of the B&H `Let`s grow up together` network.

Conference gathered 24 workshop leaders, in Laktasi from June 06-08, 2013. Participants exchanged experiences in their work with parents, and shared information in conducting workshops with teachers in their kindergartens, as a new activity in the second project round.

Aiming to additionally strengthen trained team leaders, trainers prepared `Skills and values in work with parents/workshop leaders `session for participants.

In foundation at the conference announced the third round of this project to be organized for the new group of professionals from B&H kindergartens, as well as additional training for certified workshop leaders. This group of selected experienced workshop leaders will become regional supervisors with the role to provide professional support to teams on the field, aiming to ensure quality of program in working with parents.

Posted in category: News, date 14.06.2013

How to reduce violence in schools?

The experience and recommendations for the work in the school

Introduction to the issue of violence

The violence is an ever-present phenomenon. Society’s perception is that violence is on the rise, including violence in schools, but the truth is more complex, since the perception is not always corresponding to the truth. There is a lack of systematic monitoring, and we cannot claim with certainty what is the trend of this phenomenon.

Anyhow, we can certainly say that violence in schools is not a new phenomenon, but in recent years more and more attention has been paid to this issue. Also, there is no single approach to studies of violence among peers. At the same time we have to ask ourselves what should be researched when we talk about violence. Is it bullying, antisocial behaviour, and vandalism, violations made by children in the conflict with the law, juvenile delinquency, or data on social exclusion? Obviously, there is a lack of systematic collection of data. However, during last years more and more attention is given to this issue.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), violence among young people is on the rise which among other factors, can be explained significantly by the emerging poverty as well as by the social and economic transition.

The WHO survey, conducted in 2002 on youth and violence, is emphasising four basic and interrelated causes: 1. individual, biological/psychological characteristics of personality, 2. relationships within the family and with peers, 3. community-level social cohesion and integration, 4. society, demographic and social changes, earnings and power structures.

Among other factors that affect the level of violence in schools, we can certainly include: the type of school and school climate, student-teacher relationship, peer group characteristics, characteristics of the student group, such as age, sex, ethnicity, type of families they come from, special needs in education, historical trends, etc.

The different forms of violence have an impact on victims in a way that they feel frustrated, angry, humiliated, isolated, and hopeless, hurt, scared, which further leads to the risk of poor school performance, social exclusion, low self-esteem, depression, and even suicidal thoughts or attempts. In any case, longer exposure to violence leads the victim towards the problems related to mental health and somatic disorders. Recent international research even indicates that a considerable percentage of the victims, within 3 years after experiencing repeated violence, can become a perpetrator, if not getting the needed attention which again leads to more violence.

According to some findings, every second child is exposed to some form of violence. Some research results have shown that 63% of the children in schools has been affected by peer violence, whether they were perpetrators, helpers, observers, victims, or those who defend them; it is known that all of them need some kind of professional help.

What can be done?

In response to violence different European countries developed diverse programs that aim to influence the reduction of violence in schools. These programs differ in many of their characteristics.

Various programs on the subject of reducing violence can significantly contribute to reducing the incidence of violence, whether be it through a group approach in art, literature, drama, role plays, films or use of multimedia materials. This approach can be helpful, but only if part of broader intervention program.

Some of the programs put their focus on individual support in learning social skills, assertiveness, strengthening self-esteem and change of behaviour.

But we can ask ourselves what school can do in order to reduce violence? An important role of the school can be the introduction of rules of behaviour in the school and in classrooms, development of general preventive measures, improvement and reinforcement of a positive school climate, teaching a variety of programs and stimulating activities, providing individual support to children at risk, support child victims of violence, support child perpetrators, introduction of security measures, developing referral mechanisms with the wider network and training of personnel.

Besides, an additional method can be the introduction of learning of social, emotional and behavioural skills and monitoring of their implementation (this program gives the best results at an earlier age 5-11 years). The program includes five key elements: self-esteem, empathy, managing feelings, motivation and social skills, including communication. Research in the UK showed that the implementation of these skills helps students not only to develop personal and interpersonal skills, but also has a significant impact on their school/academic performance, on decrease of absenteeism in schools, positive change in behaviour and reduction of violent incidents, and in general, it increases the degree of inclusiveness in schools.

Researches in some European countries show that peer support is not only used as intervention, but also as preventive measure aimed at reducing violence in schools. Peers know much better than school professionals what exactly is going on between children. 

The students should have important role in the implementation of any preventive or intervention programs: they need to be involved and consulted on new initiatives. Their involvement directly affects the level of violence in schools in a positive way and makes new programs more addressed to the right problem in that school.

The role of students can be in the form of peer support and early intervention. Peer support promotes cooperation and good quality relations that are highly respected and appreciated. Through a system of peer support, students do get the chance to develop the capacity to channel aggression when it occurs, as well as to develop and experience the promotion of non-violent behaviour in the wider context. In relation to this, it is quiet important to stimulate a collaborative, peer group approach, to encourage pro-social behaviour and increase the level of cooperative behaviour that is based on trust. Students in that way acquire cooperation skills through structured activities. In addition, peer mediation, peer early intervention, conflict resolution, active listening skills or peer counselling can be used. In this way students can learn how to work together, how to reduce the impact of prejudices, how to gain skills in communication, how to share information and in which way to look at their accomplishments, but also how to learn and apply conflict resolution skills in conflict situations. School in that way becomes a place where students, in acceptable way can talk about their feelings and relationships.

The benefits of the peer support are:

-          peers discover the violence much earlier than adults

-          young people reveal their secrets easier to their peers and more frequently than to adults

-          peers more easily understand the language used by children that are not used to speak about emotions

-          the victim of violence has someone to speak up to, an he/she sees that the school staff is doing something about that problem

-          often the staff don’t have enough time to deal with all interpersonal problems

-          in that way peers acquire skills that will be useful later in their life – during some period school is being known as the place where people take care of children

-          peer support can often be a good connection between other systems of support 

It is also important to include some other groups in the school work (like parents), as well as wider social community. A network of professional support can be very helpful.

Recommendations for the school administration

  • Expectations of the school staff with regard to the behaviour of children at school should be made explicit in school rules and all children should know the rules
  • Children should have a voice in establishing school rules, as they will be more easily understood and respected when children did participate
  • The way school administration and teachers are dealing with students  is very important for the reduction of violence among children
  • If we want to reduce violence  at school, it is important to include all school employees
  • It is important to work on creation of a school climate which is promoting Zero tolerance to violence in school
  • By knowing in which places in the school the violence are most present (f.e. classroom, playground) adequate measure is possible. It is important to provide safe places in and around the school in order to influence the reduction of violence
  • Children in school need to know whom to address to and ask for assistance if they need it, which means that every school should have at least two persons in charge and skilled to talk with a child when violence occurs
  • Classes where head teachers are more engaged in work and communication with children have less violence
  • Every child has been affected by violence whether they were bullies, victims, helpers, observers, supporters or those who tried to defend the others, and all of them need an adequate professional help
  • We have to talk about the violence, in an equal dialogue
  • It is important to build an open relationship between students and teachers because it significantly reduces the violence in schools
  • Good and quality relationships significantly contribute to reduction of violence

 Recommendations for work with children

  •  It is very important to work on development of students’ social and communicational skills
  • We should trust our children, listen to them, they rarely lie when they report violence
  •  Violent students should not be punished, we must work with them, provide them with support and help them to overcome the underlying problem why they act violently
  • Recognizing violent and other types of unacceptable behaviour, and having insight in the kind of  situations that will help to change the attitude and behaviour
  • Learning how to learn and by achieving better school achievements can be one of the key factors that leads to increased self-confidence, positive estimate of self-efficacy and a positive self image
  • Peer assistance is a very important resource that is not that often used
  • When we want to reduce violence we should start at an earlier age-younger children
  •  When we work with children, we should use some simple, applicable techniques that are interesting for the children
  • As play is a very important way of learning for younger children, the knowledge about violence will be acquired through role-plays, drawing, theatre plays etc.
  • Drawing and creative workshops are very important as they can duly and timely identify the issue of violence among children
  • Drawings and projective techniques are very useful for researching the issue of violence especially with children aged until the age of 10
  • Children cannot recognize all types of  violence so we should learn them what violence is
  • The most acceptable way of awareness rising about violence among school children is through art, theatre, literal and similar ways of creative expression.
  • The head teacher and the other teachers should pay special attention on the shy, withdrawn children, as they usually have some very unpleasant, traumatic experiences, and can develop into future perpetrators. 

Recommendations for the research of violence                                                         

  • It is very important to research violence as it will help us to assure parents and staff of the school that we must do something to decrease and prevent violence
  • Research should not only look at the occurrence of violence, but also on attitudes of children
  • Teachers who work with school children should learn and gain new skills to be able to solve problems 

Recommendations for the work with parents and local community

  • It is necessary to work with students, parents and the local community
  • We should work on the development of emotional intelligence, i.e. understanding of emotions of other students, and developing empathy which will lead towards the reduction of violence among the children
  • It is important to talk to parents and make them aware on the existence of violence among the students, and the reasons behind it
  • We recommend to the parents that issues related to violence should be solved together with the class master and pedagogue
  • It is important to talk with the parents why violence occurs, so they may get insight into their behaviour and understand important role it plays
  • The parents should be actively involved
  • Other stakeholders in the local community should be informed on the project activities, approach and aims
  • A referral system with the local stakeholders should be in place
  • We must talk about violence 

“We recognize that violence, in whatever form manifested, is a sign of failure.“

J.P.Sartre

Posted in category: News, date 26.02.2013

Call for proposal

In Foundation, in cooperation and with the financial support of Stichting Kinderpostzegels, Netherlands, has decided to focus its work into thematic field of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for coming period. The issue of violence has been selected as one of the crucial programmatic areas with the aim to adequately respond to this growing social problem, which will be overarched with the common programmatic title “Zero tolerance to violence in the lives of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

Breaking the cycle of violence in the lives of children in B&H is expected to contribute to the decrease of child abuse and neglect, and will reduce the risk of children, later as adults, becoming a victims or perpetrators of violence. 

Therefore, IN foundation is opening a call for proposal for locally registered NGOs with expertise in the work-field of violence, operating in the area of B&H, to prepare a project application focusing on one of three main topics:

- Prevention of peer-violence at school

- Gender-based violence prevention at schools

- Internet safety.

Project proposals should be innovative, including methodology and interventions appropriate for the target group, contributing to the reduction of violence in the lives of children in BiH. Mobilization of volunteers, advocating for changes in the community and promotion of active participation of beneficiary groups should be one of the key components of the project. For activities in schools, we expect the school staff to be empowered to execute the activities independently after a while. 

Internet safety proposals should concentrate on empowering children to deal with negative experiences on the internet and learn them what to do in such situations. It should not concentrate specially on the most severe topics, such as child pornography, but on peer-violence through the internet.

Proposed budget of each applicant should be in the range of 5.000-20.000 Euros. Budgetary contribution by the applicant or by other sources is not required, but is encouraged and will be take into consideration in the selection procedure. 

Project duration, depending on project activities, should be up to 12 months.  

Selection criteria: the advisory commission of the INF will select applicants on the basis of the following criteria:

- eligibility

- relevance

- demonstrated experience in working in the thematic area of violence, including capacity to organize and implement participatory processes and/or training of professionals

- proposed action and methodology

- demonstrated advocacy capacity and experience

- proposed budget

All additional information, as well as application forms, including the list of required additional documents, and information about financing criteria, can be found on our web site http://www.infondacija.org/en/criteria-for-financing

Call for application is opened as of February 22, 2013 and deadline for submission of applications is April 29. 2013, by 12.00 hours, by regular mail (express mail delivery is not acceptable), to our post box, as indicated in the application form.

Posted in category: News, date 22.02.2013

Implemetation of the second round of the project

Thirty-five kindergarten teachers and professionals educated in the second round of the project “Support to the parents in developing and strengthening positive parenting skills” implemented their first cycle of the workshops with parents.

From the mid October to the end of December 2012  workshops were organized in 16 kindergartens in B&H. Project has been implemented in kindergartens in Sarajevo, Brcko, Gacko, Bijeljina, Trebinje, Zvornik, Bratunac, Mrkonjić Grad, Cazin, Vitez, Maglaj, Zavidovici and Tuzla.

This workshop cycle consisted of eleven workshops and included 125 parents, 3 fathers and 122 mothers.

Results of the evaluation questionnaires filled by parents were presented at evaluation meeting held in Teslic on January 25- 26. 2013. Results showed positive impact of the workshops on parents and their children in better understanding of child`s needs and behaviour but also on improved parental behavior with a child, they have more patience and calmness and they spend more active time with children. Workshops gave parents a chance to get insight in their own capacities for parenting and get answers and solve dilemmas that each parent faces.

It was also quite important to stress that parental expectations of workshops are met. One of the mothers says: “I was surprised how much of this I didn`t know and how much we can learn from other parents.”

Workshop leaders emphasized benefits of workshops too. They are satisfied because they enriched their professional and personal experience through their work with parents.

“Workshops enriched me as a parent of three kids and also as a professional. These workshops proved me I am capable for many things I thought I would never be able to do before.” – says one of the workshop leaders about her development through workshop cycle.

Posted in category: News, date 07.02.2013
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