Virtual Assistant in North Mitrovica, an innovative project that benefited from urgent grants
Urgent grant from the EJA Kosovo KCSF program was awarded to Business Advisory Center in North Mitrovica from December 2020 until the end of May 2021.
Using the Virtual Assistant project in the times of pandemic, BAC in North Mitrovica started to provide a quick and easy solution for the citizens of this region by helping them with basic needs in obtaining personal civil documents. By obtaining personal documents[i], BAC has assisted vulnerable groups in this municipality without the need for their physical presence in the Municipality building.
“Our project had an innovative concept and in a sense at the beginning we were reluctant if the citizens of North Mitrovica would be interested in such services. In fact, the interest exceeded our expectations, motivating us to continue this project. We have recruited 10 volunteers, who by being part of the project have gained practical knowledge and experience in working with the Municipality, in the process of personal documents service, in promoting volunteerism and the use of new technologies. During one-day training, all volunteers learned more about the Virtual Assistant idea, the use of the internet and gained deeper understanding of such service in other countries. Platforms like Asistent.me (Montenegro), Uber Eats (USA) and Wold (Serbia) were used as good examples of virtual assistants”, says the Business Advisory Center team.
Virtual Assistant is a unique service which did not exist nor was accessible in North Mitrovica.
“Citizens from other municipalities contacted us to ask if there will be such services in the municipalities where they live, therefore there is a possibility that the Virtual Assistant will be expanded and installed in other municipalities in Kosovo”, as people from BACMN say.
BACMN has received 158 individual requests from citizens for services for issuance of municipal documents and assistance in buying food and supplies for pensioners and people with special needs in this municipality.
“A special emphasis and special space should be given to the fact that we have helped people in need – for example, the elderly who needed food and medicine during this difficult period. We continue to provide these valuable services. Our influence will continue to grow with our presence on the Internet – we are developing our website which will ensure sustainability and facilitate the process of helping citizens”, BACMN team said.
BAC in North Mitrovica is committed to improving the economic situation by supporting the private sector and creating a favorable environment for the creation of small and medium enterprises.
Urgent Grants provide an opportunity for quick and timely interventions by the civil society to respond in identified issues that contribute to the purpose of the EJA Kosovo program.
EJA Kosovo is a KCSF program that supports civil society initiatives through grants and capacity building, with the overall aim of contributing to a democratic and inclusive society in Kosovo on its path to integration to the European Union. EJA Kosovo is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Sweden (Sida).
[i] (birth certificates, marriage certificates, citizenship certificates, family union certificates, residence certificates, birth registration and death registration, and other documents)