Konik camp is the site of the biggest achievement of the Regional Housing Programme in Montenegro, a programme through which 431 vulnerable families will have obtained a new home by the end of 2019, and 250 more in 2020 and 2021. The European Union is the largest donor of the programme, with €234 million invested so far through the regional IPA funds. This donation will continue until the effective completion of this success story.
For this reason, Konik camp was chosen as the site to mark the International Children's Day on 20 November. Planting trees in the courtyard of buildings, which were built through the Regional Housing Programme, has improved the space most often used by children, who make up most of the residents of the camp. The EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav, together with partners from this programme, planted the tree symbolising peace and tolerance.
“We are pleased to see that Montenegro is making good progress in the implementation of the programme . Significant progress has been achieved in recent years with respect to the regulation of the legal status of beneficiaries, in addition to the provision of health care, education, and social inclusion in general. Nevertheless, we need to continue to work together to ensure the full integration of this vulnerable community into the Montenegrin society", Orav stated, noting that children deserve to live in a healthy environment and enjoy all of the rights guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“There are currently 219 families with approximately 1,200 members in the newly built apartments. The primary school is attended by 738 children, and the number of children attending high school has been increasing. Residents of this settlement have a resolved legal status. Like other Montenegrin citizens, they have access to social and child welfare rights, and access to the labour market and employment,” explained Kemal Purisic, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.
During the first phase of the project, 48 apartments were built at the Konik Camp through the Regional Housing Project realised with IPA funds. In the second phase, a multi-purpose centre was built.
Speaking on the settlement, the Minister for Human and Minority Rights, Mehmed Zenka, said that the construction of apartments had markedly improved the living conditions and that this was not only the case in Podgorica, since similar settlements were formed in other cities, as well.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Nikola Antovic, added that the residents of the Konik Camp have accessible and timely health care, as well as all those residents of the Capital City By participating in various preventive activities, they showed that health awareness had increased and that it was at a good level.
The planting activity was oranised to raise environmental awareness among the camp's youngest residents.