Awards for “Guardians of tradition”

Belgrade, April 10 - Five years of work of the Ethno Network was marked today in the Residence of Princess Ljubica. Achievements of association, results, implemented projects and established partnerships were presented on this occasion, as well as Five-year-report that summarizes in one place all the activities since founding of Ethno Network. Audience could hear more details from Sofija Arsic, national coordinator of the Ethno Network, Dragijana Radonjic-Petrovic, State secretary at the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Susan Fritz, director of USAID Mission to Serbia, and Ivana Cirkovic, director of the Office for cooperation with civil society. Guest of Ethno Network was also H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic.

Since founding of Ethno Network, on February 22, 2007, until today, there was organized 36 exhibitions, 11 fashion shows and 15 fair events. In this period 27 projects were implemented, 33 groups participated in trainings, equipping of workshops and promotion, and 25 associations and cooperatives were registered with the assistance of Ethno Network. Also, 331 certificates were issued to women who have successfully completed education, including 49 persons with disabilities. More than 50 looms were purchased, five pottery kilns, eight pottery wheels, 12 sewing machines. Five craft shops were opened and the first five licensed workshops. Ethno Network currently consists of 24 groups of handicraft producers from all over Serbia with more than 400 members.

In the past five years there was intense work on the systematic support to the creation of preconditions for establishing and strengthening of craft workshops and professional associations for production of handicrafts at the local level, in order to create the basics for economic empowerment and self-employment of women in rural areas of Serbia. Development and promotion of Ethno Network was supported by the USAID, but also by other non-governmental organizations, ministries of the Republic of Serbia, National