The Council for Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (SPPMD), was founded on May 26, 1996 by community members, professors, medical professionals, social workers, pedagogues and members of the law enforcement community in Kavadarci, Macedonia. SPPMD is a non-governmental, non-profit, and non-religious organization whose main activities are aimed to fight against all forms of asocial and delinquent behaviour of the young people in Kavadarci.
The work of SPPMD is mainly divided in two sectors:
- the legal one which works on improvement of position of juveniles within the Juvenile Justice system, through changes and improvements of the Juvenile Justice legislation as well as its appropriate further implementation;
- the youth one, which aims to organize the spare time of young people in Kavadarci and neighbourhood villages, providing them with different opportunities to get involved in various forms of non-formal education and activities.
The NGO’s first activity was to hold tribunes with the mayor and city council of Kavadarci, in order to discuss the issue of juvenile delinquency in Kavadarci. Since 1996, the NGO has developed a reputation for quality programming and grant management. It is widely recognized as a leader among NGOs in Macedonia for its ability to organize, network, and link people and organizations, around issues that involve or are important for young people.
The first huge national activity was the development of National Preventive Action Plan in 1999 – 2000. The project involved 6800 youngsters from 41 Municipality, in conjunction with Ministries of Education, of Internal Affairs,of Law and of Labour and Social Work, as well as Supreme Court, Public Prosecutor, Ombudsman, Correctional Institutions and National Association of Lawyers.
From 2000 to 2007 SPPMD has organized the work of the Babylon children and youth center, where over 1000 youngsters from the town and villages participate in different non-formal activities annually. Later this center developed in a Youth Club whose premises are kindly donated to SPPMD by the Municipality of Kavadarci. Currently in our Youth Club we organize various activities targeting youngsters from 13 to 17 and young adults from 18 to 35.
So far, the Council for Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency has managed more then 50 projects and grants supported by various foreign and domestic Donors: OSCE, USAID through the Institute for Sustainable Communities, Catholic Relief Services and World Learning, EC Delegation in Macedonia, EC Executive Audiovisual Cultural and Educational Agency, World Bank, UNICEF, British Embassy, Royal Norwegian Embassy, SALTO SEE Resource Center, SEEYN, Foundation Open Society Institute, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, Local Government of Kavadarci & local businessmen, etc.
In 1998 – 99 SPPMD has prepared the National Action Plan for Juvenile Delinquency for Macedonia, which determined our priorities and strategic directions of work for the next years.
From 2000 till 2006 SPPMD has organized the work of the Babylon children and youth center, where over 1000 youngsters from the town and villages have participated annually in different non-formal activities.
Since 2001 – 02 SPPMD has prepared and proposed to the Ministry of Justice the Law on Juvenile Justice, which was finally adopted by the Parliament in 2007, after five years of lobbying. Currently, we have been working for three years, in conjunction with UNICEF and OSCE to train the government institutions’ employees who are responsible for implementation of this Law. So far, over 400 judges, prosecutors, police officers, lawyers, social workers, prison officers and NGO and media representatives have beed appropriatelly trained.
SPPMD started to work with international volunteers in 2000, hosting US Peace Corps volunteer. The extremely positive experience was further expanded to another US Peace Corps volunteer in 2007-08, but also to other volunteering programs, such as VSO – 2002 – 03, Canadian International Youth Network – 2005-06 etc.
In 2002 SPPMD has organized the first hosting and sending EVS project implemented in Macedonia. Up today, we have hosted 73 and have sent 41 EVS volunteers. Our currently valid hosting, sending and coordinating accreditation is 2013 – SI – 114.
Since 2003, SPPMD is a member organization of the Coalition All 4 Fair Trials.
From 2004 to 2008 SPPMD was implementing partner organization to UNV/UNDP for the RIVER SEE Programme in Macedonia.
Since 2005 SPPMD is a member of the Volunteer Center of Macedonia, coordinating one out of six Volunteer Info Points in the country. We have been directly involved in the preparation of the Law on Volunteerism. After its adoption in 2007, we work on its promotion and proper implementation in our region. We are managing a data-base of local volunteers and recently have started with implementation of Time Bank for volunteers.
From 2005 to 2009 SPPMD was active as a Contact Point for the YOUTH/Youth in Action Programme in Macedonia, nominated by the SALTO SEE Resource Center.
From 2008 to 2013 SPPMD was official Training Provider for EVS trainings in SEE, in conjunction with the SALTO SEE Resource Center.
From 2002 to 2012 SPPMD was Partner Organization to the International Young Nature Friends – IYNF, ( www.iynf.org ) with a seat in Prague. In 2012 we were accepted as full Member Organization. Still we are the only member organization from the Balkans. Currently our Secretary General holds the position of a vice-president of IYNF.
Since 2012 SPPMD is Member of the National committee for the No Hate Speech campaign of the CoE.
Since 2015 SPPMD is again active as a Contact Point for the Erasmus+ Programme in Macedonia with a special focus on the youth NGOs in south-east part of Macedonia, now nominated by the Macedonian NA.
The management body of SPPMD is its Managing Board, which is consisted of 7 members, only two out of them being over 30 years old.
Currently, SPPMD has nine active local volunteers and five EVS volunteers (three long-term and two short-term) all of them between 21 and 30 years old.
The number of youngsters that are reached by our organisation or local group:
Currently SPPMD works with a group of about 150 youngsters from 13 – 19 years old,
as well as with about 45 young people from 21 – 35 years old.
Most of our activities at local level we implement in the frame of our Youth Club, which is partly supported by the Municipality of Kavadarci. It is a place where young people are enabled to organize varuous non-formal activities in their spare time, while recently trained youth workers can implement their first practical assingments. The club works with very close conjunction with all primary and high schools in the town, having established small youth clubs in every school. In 2013 we have increased our cooperation with the IT faculty in our town. SPPMD has also opened small youth clubs in several small villages in our neighbourhood, as it is difficult for the youngsters living in the rural areas to come regularly to our club, so our volunteers rather organize activities on the spot. There are several groups that work on different themes, while football club ( boys and girls ), volley-ball club ( girls only ), outdoor activities club, drama club and debate club are among the most active ones.
A special part of the organization is its Local Volunteers Center, which provides support to all volunteering initiatives in the region. There is a special accent on the support for young unemployed people, by oproviding the link between them and local institutions and supporting sustainable volunteering positions in every single local institution. As one of its recent activities was the preparation of Local Strategy for Development of Volunteerism, which was accepted by the City Council just at the end of 2014.
And finally, the Council for Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency has published the following editions:
- Procedure for treatment of children at risk, December 2014, funded by the UNICEF Office in Skopje, available in Macedonian, Albanian, and English
- Manual on establishing local councils for prevention of juvenile delinquency, November 2012, funded by the UNICEF Office in Skopje, available in Macedonian, Albanian, and English
- Justice, Public, Trust, November 2006, funded by the OSCE Spillover Mission in Skopje, available in Macedonian.
- Play Some Other Game, February, 2004, funded by the British Embassy, available in Macedonian and English.
- Juvenile Penal Code, (draft text), March, 2002, funded by the Institute for Sustainable Communities & USAID, available in Macedonian and English.
- Peace against war – it depends on us: Contract for Peace, September, 2001, funded by Foundation Open Society Institute and USAID.
- Analysis of the Situation of Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice System in Macedonia, April, 2001, funded by UNICEF, Available in Macedonian, Albanian, and English.
- Steps towards the ladder of success, May, 2000, funded by local communities and businesses.
- The Preventive Action Plan for the Republic of Macedonia, March, 2000, funded by the Institute for Sustainable Communities & USAID, available in Macedonian.
- A Road Through Temptations, May, 1999, funded by The Institute for Sustainable Communities & USAID, available in Macedonian.