Thanks to the support of the European Union, Užice got its first village kindergarten in Karan, which will soon be attended by about 50 children. With the EU grant in the amount of almost 180,000 Euros extended through the EU PRO Plus programme, and a significant Užice City co-funding of over 200,000 Euros, the kindergarten facility in Karan was adapted and expanded, and now has an equipped kitchen with a dining room, two work rooms for children of different ages age, a teacher room thus providing adequate conditions for preschool education and growing up of children. The kindergarten is also equipped with furniture and didactic material.

“Here in the kindergarten in the village of Karan, which will soon start working, we see the result of the partnership between the local community, the city of Užice and the Ministry of European Integration. This kindergarten will enable the stay and learning of 55 children from Užice and its surroundings, creating a safe and inspiring space for their development. This is just one of the many projects that we support through the EU PRO Plus programme together with the City of Užice, with which we also successfully implement projects for cross-border cooperation. We are proud of our long-term partnership with Užice and look forward to continued cooperation in order to achieve a better life for the citizens together because we care about Užice,” said the Ambassador of the European Union to Serbia Emanuele Giaufret.

“This project, the first rural kindergarten in the territory of Užice, is a very important project for the community as it provides a large and suitable space for children to stay, but also for learning and development,” said Minister Miščević and added that through good projects coming from the city of Užice with the support of the European Union and the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of European Integration, as well as the budget of the City of Užice, 1.7 million euros were secured for various projects, including the renovation of the health institution. The minister added that other large projects are being implemented in Užice, inlcuidung as flood prevention, as well as cross-border cooperation projects.” said Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević.

As the mayor of Užice, Jelena Raković Radivojević, pointed out this is a big day for Užice and the village of Karan, which received a kindergarten ready to receive children from this part of the city in the coming days when the use permit is ready.

“We are glad that all our partners from the Delegation of the European Union, the Ministry of European Integration and UNOPS are here with us today to visit the kindergarten together and to make sure that all the work was done as it was planned by the project,” she said. She added that the City allocated 17 million dinars from the budget for the adaptation of the kindergarten in Kremna, and the work was intensified in other kindergartens as well, “because we made a promise to the Užičani people that every child in the city will have a place in the kindergarten, and we will fulfil that,” the mayor concluded.

The European Union, as the largest donor in Serbia, supports the modernization of the education system and harmonization with the standards and practices of EU countries. Since 2003, the EU has donated more than 100 million euros for the reform of the education sector – for the improvement of preschool education and education, the reform of secondary vocational education and adult education, renovation and equipping of schools and colleges, support for inclusive education, etc.

The European Union program for local development – EU PRO Plus contributes to a more balanced socio-economic development of 99 local governments in two regions: Šumadija and Western Serbia and Southern and Eastern Serbia. The program works on improved management of territorial development, economic growth and improved social infrastructure and social cohesion.