October 11, 2020 - Besides illegal landfills and many current ecological issues, Kotor and Tivat will soon have a new problem - the golf courses planned by "Luštica Bay." The chemicals that will be used on the golf courses are absorbed and enter the groundwater. They then enter the public well system, warns Patricija Pobrić, President of the NGO "Our Action," which is a partner in the "YOUth Drive" project.
As part of this project, an analysis of the current situation regarding water pollution was presented at a conference at the Cattaro Hotel, where waste management was also discussed. Pobrić points out that the project implementors analyzed illegal landfills in the three Boka municipalities of Kotor, Tivat, and Herceg Novi. Photos were sent by the public, and volunteers and coordinators went out into the field and mapped them.
- We found 75 such locations. We included them in one single program with dots, to give them GPS locations, so that we could subsequently send a link to all utility companies and then "track" when the location is cleared. We cleaned three spots on the International Coastal Cleaning Day, so we put green dots on the map as we cleaned those three landfills. The Utility Company of Kotor yesterday cleaned the section along the road Kotor-Budva, where there is a lot of illegal dumping. So we "greened" it as well - said Pobrić, expressing the hope that cooperation will be established with utility companies of Bokelian cities for all 75 locations to be cleaned. She also stated that some landfills are close to watercourses and pointed out that water samples will be taken to establish how many landfills affect watercourses.
Professor Radoslav Udovicic, an expert in environmental protection, says that we must preserve the air and climate, natural beauty and architectural heritage, and reduce fossil fuel consumption.
"To deliver on all this, we must adequately take care of the waste situation. This means rational waste management, remediation, elimination of illegal landfills, and recycling of packaging waste. The aim is to make waste management as cheap as possible, to have as few dumps as possible, i.e., one-day incineration. A big problem is construction waste, which is mineral wealth, raw materials, and waste from excavation," said Udovicic.
Project manager Lucija Kvesić said that through the analysis of the situation on the ground in the Herzegovina County, over 200 illegal landfills were detected, which, she says, is devastating.
The project is implemented within the Cross-Border Cooperation Bosnia and Herzegovina-Montenegro, funded by the European Union. The project is implemented by the Association for Environmental Development and Culture Eko ZH, in cooperation with the partner organization of the NGO "Our Action" from Montenegro, based in Kotor. The total value of the project is 280,000 euros, of which the EU is funding 230,000 euros.
Presenting data at a global level, project associate Jozo Kolobarić indicated that of the 7.5 billion people living in the world, 50 percent live in urban areas.
"Humans are affecting climate change, due to which we lose the contours of the seasons, so we go straight to flip-flops from boots, while mental health pills are the best-selling drugs. We now have parts of the world where one cannot live at all. Those are the facts. Changing the main value system is essential for ecology; if there is no ecology of the soul, everything is in vain, he assessed, adding that education on the need for waste separation should start from kindergartens and primary schools. Montenegro has a good infrastructure and fewer illegal landfills than Bosnia," said Kolobaric.
October 7, 2020 - Education is only one way in which our lives have changed since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. In these uncertain times many of us, parents and educators alike, are wondering what the consequences will be for our children - both in terms of what, and how, they are learning. In a first installment on the topic, lifelong educator, teacher trainer and language school owner Sue Dixon gives us some reassurance that all is "not lost"!
During these past COVID months there has been a great deal of debate about whether our children have suffered from ‘lost learning.
Online learning hasn’t suited everyone, especially primary aged children and many parents tell me how difficult it is to motivate children to learn at home. Many teachers haven’t enjoyed it much either!
So, what if children haven’t learnt how to do long multiplication or how to use adverbial phrases this year? Is that a serious loss of learning – I mean really? Given the circumstances around the world I don’t think so. With the right mindset, and positive teaching environment these are things that children can catch up. The first priority is to build confidence, re-establish routines and instil good dispositions and habits for learning.
I have recently embarked on a new education adventure (I have had many adventures it is true to say) in Kotor; Thinking Child Tuition Centre.
I am excited and privileged to have created this opportunity to teach individuals and small groups, to be able to develop those necessary thinking skills for learning in a focused and personalised way. I am confident that children’s learning will not be ‘lost’ for long.
I wish all teachers, families and children the very best learning experiences in the coming weeks and months.
Thinking Child Tuition
October 2, 2020 - In these dark days of the COVID-19 epidemic, everyone needs to take off a little above the clouds and socialize. It is even nicer to learn together, proposes an invitation to a seminar offering continuous psychosocial support for parents of children and young people with special needs. The seminar was held in Herceg Novi as a part of a broader project to support those children and their families.
About twenty experts from Kotor, Tivat, and Herceg Novi joined the coordinator, Dr. Sonja Vasić, for a two-day gathering organized by the NGO Meritum, held last weekend in the Blue Salon of the "Dr. Simo Milošević" Institute in Igalo.
The session leader was Dr. Nenad Rudic, a psychiatrist at the Institute for Mental Health in Belgrade and a consultant to UNICEF Serbia, whospoke to Radio Tivat at the end of the workshop:
"We had the opportunity to exchange our professional experiences and to provide our thoughts on the topic that brought us together: what is the best way to help this group, and what is possible, not forgetting that from the practice of helping children with special needs, parents are not just on the sidelines, but are actors in both child development and in our work with them. The reality is that both in our country and elsewhere in the world, a major issue is how to find the right models and ways of sustainable support to parenthood. Especially in the most challenging situations, we certainly do not have all the answers. It is in those challenging situations where we are wondering whether the profession can, within its competencies, develop support meetings, sometimes within its daily practice, but also as a special activity. These sessions can take place both with groups of parents and through individual counseling. Within these sessions, the parents need to be able to ask questions, feel good while asking them, get clear answers to personal questions, and feel that the child development services are working with the child. We are on the same side as the parents and we are trying to understand each other."
In particular, there were discussions on child development and disorders, mental health problems in children and young people with special needs, quality of life, and parental stress and their own mental health problems.
Emphasis was placed on the partnership model of counseling support to parents, to which attention will be paid in the next three similar sessions provided by the organization. The idea is for participants from three Boka municipalities to organize continuous work with parents in their communities after the training.
The organizers read a letter of support from Mary Borojevich, president and founder of the NGO Meritum, who came to Montenegro after many years dedicated to caring for children with special needs in Serbia.
"For the last four years, I have turned my attention to Montenegro, continuing the work with special needs children. We supported the daily care center in Herceg Novi for two years by paying the rent and funded in-home schooling for those kids who could not attend school. Our latest effort is to provide for the needs we learned of from professionals and family members when we held a needs assessment seminar last November at Cattaro Hotel," explains Mary Borojevich for TMN.
"This is planned to be a four-phase training program; the first phase was held 26-27 September. Our goal is to answer the call of the area's population with one sole goal in mind. That is to improve the special needs reality so that everyone may reach their full potential. Of course, the very wonderful side effect will be a more capable and compassionate society in this beautiful Boka that I have come to love and call my second home," says this humanitarian worker interviewed by TMN two years ago.
Among the workshop's participants last weekend in Igalo, was Marijana Škanata, the President of the NGO European House Tivat, which gathers parents of children with special needs from the town. The NGO has been supporting children with special needs and their families since 2007. As a parent of a child with special needs herself, advocating for better policies and practices through the years, Marijana was invited to join the gathering both as a journalist and experienced worker on the topic:
"The first thing that struck me was the great enthusiasm I felt among all the participants. They came with many ideas, cooperation suggestions, and proposals of how continuous psychological support should be provided within the social care system. In today's world, psychological support is needed more than ever. As a parent, I took the opportunity to emphasize some good and some bad examples of how participants in health and social care systems could be helpful or psychologically unsupportive with parents in very delicate moments. In doing this, we discussed real problems and found solutions together, acting as a team."
Daily Care Center for Children with Special Needs in Tivat, Photo by Sinisa Lukovic
NGO European House Tivat was founded in 2000. Their mission to help special needs children began in 2007 when Marijana took part in a working group to create the Local Action Plan for Children, introducing the need to organize a daycare center for children with special needs in Tivat into the local plans. After years and years of EDT efforts, those plans are finally coming to fruition - the daycenter will host its first guests on Monday, October 5.
The Montenegrin "Monte Carlo," as some like to call Tivat when making a development-level comparison, has succeeded in opening the Daycare Center after dozens of projects, educational, and funding events organized by EDT Tivat.
"We started collecting funds and advocating for the daycenter in December 2008, with our first project dedicated to children with special needs - I want to go to the EU, me too! It took a lot of time, but some of our children will finally have this vital service. It is important not only for them but also for their families. Of course, we are happy and look forward to future cooperation and joint projects with this important local institution," said Marijana Mišić Škanata for TMN.
The institution "Daycenter for Children and Youth with Disabilities" Tivat was officially opened on August 12, and its doors open to guests on Monday, October 5. According to the coordinator, Vedrana Petković, the Center in Seljanovo can accommodate 20 guests.
"The center's working hours are from 7am to 3pm; every aspect will be designed with the needs of the children in mind," Vedrana points out, noting that the center is counting on close cooperation with the NGO European Home Tivat.
Guests will have at their disposal a living room, a room for individual work, rehabilitation room, and sensory room, and the center is open to children and young people up to 27 years of age.
September 30, 2020 - The pozornica.me portal is now up and running. It is an ambitious project through which theaters, festivals, cultural centers, associations, and NGOs can inform the public about their work and their projects quickly and easily.
Ten electronic services have been made available to theater lovers in Montenegro since the beginning of September on the portal www.pozornica.me
The portal is an information hub for current and upcoming theater events and content in Montenegro, and is in important source from an informative, educational and entertainment perspective.
In the informative segment, pozornica.me will continuously publish all upcoming theater events to further develop and support theater art in Montenegro. In addition to its primary function of informing the public about theater events, the portal aims to present and promote professional literature.
"Portal pozornica.me will aim to follow all current theater events and happenings and to provide all related information. The theater audience will be able to read exciting and inspiring texts on theatrical art to find what interests them. But the portal will also be a platform where theater lovers will be able to review plays and express their opinions, said the editor of the portal Dubravka Matičić.
Also, there is a further service that is still under construction, which consists of a calendar of events, a repertoire divided by production, reviews from the audience, a wish list (with which portal users will be able to see when and where a favorite show will be performed), and a ticket reservation section.
The portal is open for cooperation with all institutions, festivals, associations, schools that deal with theater in any way, and individuals, whether they are actors, directors, producers, or just theater lovers, the portal editor added.
The portal designer is Kristijan Vujović.
The project pozornica.me is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, through a competition to help independent artists affected by the pandemic's impact on the cultural sector, in partnership with the Royal Theater Zetski Dom.
September 15, 2020 - The fact that Montenegro is one of the centers of plant diversity in Europe is a known fact, due to the last relict jungle in Europe and its many endemic plants. But it was not widely known that Montenegrin vineyards have genetic characteristics similar to traditional wine regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy in France or La Rioja in Spain.
So far, the most extensive genomic study in Montenegro focused on the genetic diversity of vines has shown that the Montenegrin vineyards stand side by side with these world-famous wine regions.
A study published in the prestigious journal Nature Scientific Reports by a Montenegrin, Canadian and Spanish multidisciplinary team sampled and genotyped more than 500 vines over 100 years old across Montenegro, determining their genotype and mutual genetic connection.
This study revealed an unexpected diversity of grape genotypes with 51 unknown genotypes discovered for science, presenting new grape varieties. However, the most significant discovery is finding their genetic connection and discovering the Montenegrin vine's pedigree. This study shows that vines have been grown here for centuries and with a specific genetic structure for this vineyard.
Specifically, the Kratošija variety is the central variety that has produced the Montenegrin grape assortment in its crossbreeding with other types. Kratošija represents mother or father for 12 grape varieties, and was the most common combination sampled in old vineyards.
With its diversity, biotypes and historical data from the Budva Constitution from 1427, which describe the cultivation of Kratošija in the Middle Ages, this research shows that Kratošija has been the main variety grown in Montenegro for centuries.
Among the many descendants of this variety is the crown of Montenegrin wine production, Vranac, where Kratošija is the father of this variety and the mother is a disappearing variety, called Duljenga, found at one site only in Crmnica. Also, the basis of table grape varieties is Rozaklija, which gave 14 different types, the vine being from the monastery of St. Vasilije Ostroški, and according to written data, originates from 1672. According to tradition, this lineage was sprouted from seeds, and has been scientifically confirmed on the basis of this story. The "father" of this variety is Velja Pergola, which was found just below the monastery, suggesting the origin from the seeds due to crossing.
This research has vast international significance where Montenegro is placed in the center of diversity and the origin of Kratošija. The famous American Zinfandel and the Italian Primitivo were therefore transferrals from these areas. It is precisely the task of this scientific consortium to show the true origin of Zinfandel by sequencing the entire genome.
This study also reveals Montenegrin winegrowers' work through the centuries and the steps of secondary "domestication" of the vine by crossing it with wild vines. This practice has long since disappeared from Europe, and in this way, many famous grape varieties were created in antiquity, including Cabernet Franc.
This comprehensive study based on genomic technologies creates the potential for the development of indigenous winemaking in Montenegro. It lays the foundations for the development of this branch for the next centuries. A lot of work remains, however. All these varieties were first saved from extinction and are now propagated in the Plantaža nursery.
The next step is their examination and micro vinification to determine which varieties can make top quality wines. Also, this is only the first step in winemaking studies in this area. Work is ongoing on testing local yeasts important for wine fermentation, gastronomy development, steaming of wine, and food that will place wines at a higher level, expand this area of the tourism sector, and serve as a basis for vine tourism that has runs all year round.
September 12, 2020 - The Center for Civic Education (CCE) is paying tribute to all the victims and detainees in the Mamula camp during World War II, among whom the majority was from the Bay of Kotor.
"At the same time, we use the opportunity to invite the future authorities to revise the contract with the investor who is currently building a hotel and tourist facility on Mamula. We call on them to establish the Mamula Memorial Center as a sign and permanent commemoration to the victims, and a reminder to all future generations of the crimes committed here," the CCE states.
The camp on the island of Lastavica, better known as Mamula, was disbanded after Italy's capitulation on September 14, 1943, 77 years ago, and commemoration is held every September in memory of the crimes that took place on Mamula, recall the CCE.
Mamula, Arhive Photo, Source: CCE
"However, due to the country's epidemiological situation, the CCE delegation will not visit the island this year and lay flowers to pay tribute to the victims. Therefore, we are addressing society this way to remind them of the crime, and call on the state of Montenegro to take on the obligation towards the victims, and the achievements of the anti-fascist struggle. In addition, they should adequately protect this locality, marking a place of suffering."
"There are numerous places of suffering on the territory of Montenegro, where crimes were committed during World War II, and today's younger generation knows almost nothing about them. It is terrible not to know that over a hundred people were killed or starved to death here. Over 2,000 were captured in Campo Mamula, as estimated based on data from Italian military documents. Therefore, to remember such facts and to encourage the development of a culture of human rights in Montenegro, one of the main pillars and cultures of memory, Mamula, but all other places of suffering in Montenegro, should be part of the education system and of a special segment of educational tourism."
"The entire Montenegrin society, and especially the institutions of the system, must remember all crimes against innocent civilians during the wars in Montenegro. They must also work tirelessly to develop a culture of remembrance and respect, recognition, and compassion for all victims, to make sure these crimes never happen again," the CCE states.
"We appeal to the new ruling majority to advocate actively in its future mandate to establish a culture of remembrance, which the previous government only declaratively supported. The highest representatives of the previous government have never gone to the commemoration on Mamula island. They treated this anti-fascist execution site like any piece of land. They leased it to an investor who, according to their public plan, cannot adequately protect the victims' memory. Everyone in Montenegro should work tirelessly on shaping a society based on respect for victims, reconciliation, the right to truth, peace, coexistence, and tolerance," the CCE said in a statement.