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Better together

Summary of the project implemented by Foundation Institute for Social Innovation

Montenegro is a multicultural country where different national and ethnic groups coexist. Diversity in terms of culture, customs and norms of social groups can have positive implications for overall social progress or, on the contrary, lead to discrimination, exclusion and marginalization of certain social groups. The above can be influenced by several factors: the conservative mentality of society, stereotypes, prejudices, hate speech, hate crimes, insufficient knowledge and awareness of basic democratic principles and human rights, as well as political conditions in the country, the region and the world. At the heart of all of the above, as can be assumed, is the human factor. As a part of the wider community, we have the obligation to respect the rights of others and respect differences. However, precisely because of insufficient knowledge and awareness, people tend to resist everything that is “unknown” or different from them and their community (family, ethnic, national and religious communities, etc.). This is best evidenced by the level of social distance in a society.

Some of the key problems facing Montenegro, which require the response of all social actors, from the civil sector, the media, local communities to decision-makers at the national level, are the following: pronounced social and political polarization in Montenegro, the use of inflammatory rhetoric ( which is especially dangerous when it comes to some kind of authority in the community), expressed ethnic distance towards certain ethnic communities, stereotypes, prejudices and hate speech towards ethnic/national groups, insufficient youth activism in the field of democracy and respect for human rights, failure to promote the idea of inter-culturalism in public and semi-public discourse and dialogue, the mass of sensational media content that contributes to greater social polarization, the presence of social exclusion of certain categories of the population due to various reasons (ethnicity, cultural diversity, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

Foundation ISI will strive to contribute to the development and improvement of the environment that enables respect for human rights and the elimination of discrimination, through theoretical and practical education of young social work students from various Montenegrin municipalities, as future promoters of the idea of intercultural dialogue in Montenegro.

Project goals

General goal

  • To contribute to the development and improvement of the environment that enables respect for human rights and the elimination of discrimination, through theoretical and practical education of young social work students from various Montenegrin municipalities, as future promoters of the idea of intercultural dialogue in Montenegro.

Specific objectives

  • Improving the individual capacities of social work students in the field of inter-culturalism and anti-discrimination, which contributes to a greater degree of social cohesion;
  • Strengthening the educational potential of social work students in connection with the characteristics of the cultural diversity present in Montenegro;
  • Deconstruction of established prejudices and stereotypes about members of different ethnic/national communities that represent an obstacle to achieving social inclusion;
  • Recognizing one’s own role, both as a young person and as a future professional in the helping professions, in the promotion of diversity, tolerance, intercultural dialogue, and peaceful resolution of conflicts;
  • Reduction of ethnic distance towards members of different national and ethnic communities in Montenegro


The primary target group for the implementation of the “Better Together” project are students of the Faculty of Political Sciences who are studying for the social worker profession. There are a maximum of 15 young people coming from different Montenegrin municipalities. Special attention will be paid to the representation of members from all three regions of Montenegro, taking into account the diversity of norms and practices in different parts of Montenegro, which will further contribute to interaction and dynamics in the work. Also, the idea is to recruit at least one member of the RE population and the PWD, which will further contribute to their social inclusion and wider social interaction. In accordance with the very concept of intercultural dialogue, all participants in the project will benefit from the inclusion of members of diverse social groups, since in this way they will have the opportunity to communicate directly with each other and collaborate on group activities. Young people, especially those who are being educated to work in helping professions, must spread awareness of the importance of diversity, tolerance and anti-discrimination, since during their professional engagement they will have the opportunity to cooperate with different social categories and groups that need help. In addition to direct participants in the project activities, the target group is also all young people who did not participate in the project, but who have the opportunity to be informed and educated through educational materials, content on social networks and guest appearances in the media, which are created as products of the implementation of the activities foreseen by the project. Together with the participants in the project, Foundation ISI will work on raising awareness of the importance of intercultural dialogue among other young people, their peers, by jointly promoting the idea of inter-culturalism, social peace and anti-discrimination. Members of the local communities from which the participants in the project come, the non-governmental sector, decision-makers at the local and national level, and the entire Montenegrin public will also benefit. Advantages in the form of improving the level of respect for human rights, youth activism, intercultural dialogue and democratization of society will be reflected on all the above-mentioned direct and indirect actors.

Main activities

  • Recruitment of participants – selection of 15 social work students from the Faculty of Political Sciences, UCG, who will take part in the activities. Recruitment will be carried out in online and offline mode. They will be invited to apply through social networks, partner student organizations and student groups. The presentation of the project and the call for applications will be made at the FPN. Care will be taken to ensure that members of all nations in Montenegro are represented;
  • Creating a media campaign – together with a social media expert, Foundation ISI will work on creating a campaign that will include the promotion of the project and the idea of inter-culturalism both on social networks and through traditional means of information (announcements, reports, TV appearances, interviews);
  • Educational workshops with social work students – eight different thematic units will be covered in the theoretical part of the workshops, and depending on the specific topic of the workshop, group activities will be defined that will accompany what has been theoretically adopted in a practical sense;
  • Research on the attitudes of young people towards members of different national/ethnic communities that coexist in Montenegro – we will measure the level of ethnic distance among young people in Montenegro, talk to workshop participants, seek the opinion of experts in this field (such as social psychologists, politicians, youth representatives), on the basis of which Foundation ISI will collect key findings that will be publish on social networks and the website.
  • Group session with a social psychologist – after the successfully completed workshops, the final group discussion with a social psychologist will be planned for the problems that affect young people in Montenegro and against which they want to fight. After the organized workshop/session, the social psychologist will record the key findings he has reached and directions for overcoming them;
  • Round table – an event that will bring together experts and university professors who will speak on the topic of inter-culturalism and intercultural dialogue and participants (students of social work) who will exchange opinions about intercultural dialogue in Montenegro, the current situation and directions for future action.
  • Implementation of a media campaign – informing the public and starting a dialogue about inter-culturalism in Montenegro, guest appearances in the media and running social networks with clear thematic content and key messages addressed to the general public during the entire period of project implementation.
  • “Conversation to Reconciliation” – In cooperation with student organizations and the Faculty of Political Sciences, the implementation of the “Conversation to Reconciliation” day is planned. On this occasion, the participants in the project will creatively present the culture and community they come from and have the opportunity to share the knowledge gained from the educational workshops with other event participants.