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ReliefWeb: Community center of life in Montenegro

Published date: 17.10.2005 20:00 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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Source: Cooperative Housing Foundation International

Date: 17 Oct 2005

Community center of life in MontenegroCHF International works with the Community Development Council of Vidrovan on a project that is creating new jobs and has increased the quality of life for its citizens

COMMUNITY CENTER OF LIFE

"This magnificent structure was literally built from the ashes", Ljubo Vujadinovic proudly says, while pointing at the new Multi-purpose Community Center building in Vidrovan, a municipality of Niksic.

Ljubo lives in a picturesque village called Rastovac, ten kilometers from Nikšič. His village, along with twelve others constitute the area of Vidrovan, whose population is predominantly active in agriculture. They can easily recall when the previous community center building, which the citizens used as a place for community meetings, socializing, and relaxation, went up in flames ten years ago.

The community center reconstruction project was identified as a priority at Vidrovan community meetings and was developed by Community Development Council (CDC). In the last three years, the Vidrovan CDC has been successful in implementing five projects through the Community Revitalization through Democratic Action (CRDA) program.

The reconstruction of the Multi-purpose Community Center was financed by a donation from the American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by CHF International. The total project value is over US$229,000. USAID provided 69% of the total project value while the Vidrovan Community, in partnership with the Government of Montenegro, the Public Works Directorate, the Niksic Municiplaity and the Community Development Council (CDC) provided 31% of the total project value.

Ljubo explains how the modern facilities will significantly improve the life in this region. "Within the Center, which is owned by Vidrovan MZ, there are some completely new amenities added, including an equipped gym and business premises with an already operating agriculture pharmacy. A grocery store, as well as a walk-in medical clinic or dentist's office is expected to be opened soon. The Center is also designed to host local community meetings, various cultural events, soirees, sports activities and other events. The expected impact of the project is to create at least seven new jobs that will additionally contribute to this region's economic development. That is what we needed. Young educated people will want to stay in Vidrovan now, instead of finding their happiness somewhere else."

"The only flame that sometime flickers here is the anger of the defeated side when our village plays a basketball game against our neighbours," says our kind host with a broad smile on his face.