Several companies, nonprofits and social welfare centers along with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (Ministarstvo rada i socijalnog staranja) in Montenegro, partnered up to provide summer holidays for 15 socially vulnerable families who have children with disabilities.

Over a period of three months during the peak of the holiday season, families stayed in modern holiday lodgings in Bečići and Pržno. Ivana Đurović, the CEO of LEEA doo and Darko Ivanović, Secretary general of Citizens’ Alliance (Građanska Alijansa) began the initiative, and it was made possible with the help of Goran Kuševija, Head of the Directorate for Social Welfare and Protection of Children (Direktorat za Socijalno staranje i dječju zašititu) as well as ten social welfare centers across Montenegro. Investors, like Đurović, secured accommodation, the Ministry one-time financial assistance, and supermarket Hard discount Laković, provided food for the entire duration of the holidays.

The Ministry issued a statement that “This model of cooperation between the private sector, nonprofits and public authorities, has seen remarkable implementation in Montenegro and shown that joint attempts of these actors to care for the community and individuals can help engage public authorities even further.”

Initiatives such as this are not uncommon across the region. In previous years, several initiatives which provided children from underprivileged backgrounds or children with disabilities with opportunities to go on summer holidays were launched. Some examples include the initiative in Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia which started from the Facebook group Lettings with a Heart (Iznajmljivači sa srcem), the activities of Red Cross in Belgrade and the company Valamar in Croatia.