Incited by the successes that they achieved by participating in projects during their undergraduate studies at the Faculty of business Valjevo and with enough experience to have a safe ground to walk upon, students of three study programs of second and third year decided to establish a non-governmental organization Green Mark. In this way they got a chance to participate in civil activism at the local level in the country, while also enriching their experience and knowledge, range of contacts, portfolio of skills, thereby increasing their competitiveness in the modern labor market.
NGO Green Mark was established on February 4th 2013. Its members advocate the expansion and application of the concept of sustainability through its activities, with the aim to educate the large spectrum of different stakeholders and to directly or indirectly affect the quality of life of people in the local community in terms of environmental protection, as well as economic benefits and conservation of traditions, local customs and lifestyles. Particular emphasis is placed on young people, and NGO is registered as an association of young people with the relevant ministry.
The students took their first steps in working on projects which are applicable in practice at the Faculty of business Valjevo within the course Elective practical research. Members of the NGO worked on the international project Green Passport, a guide to sustainable travel through Serbia, which was supported by UNEP. Following the success on the interactive display for visitors at the Tourism Fair in Belgrade in 2013, and after receiving award for contribution to the development of sustainable tourism in the country in 2012 by VisitSerbia.org portal, project team members decided to form an NGO. “We realized that in this way the possibility to expand our field of action and to make initiated project sustainable in reality opens up,” says one of the project team and NGO’s members, Milan Plavšić.
On the other hand, the initiator of the project and the association, Dr. Ivana Damjanovic, thinks that “the entrepreneurial model of education that the Faculty of Business fosters is the basis not only for the competitiveness of students in the modern labor market, but also for providing active and effective contribution to long-term community development, as well as to preservation of its values.” Nenad Ikonić, one of the founders of the NGO says that “participation in the Green Passport project is the crown of the entire educational experience gained at the Faculty of business Valjevo.” Jelena Bošković, the current president of the Green Mark agrees “that working on projects expands the range of knowledge and skills needed in the business world today, especially resourcefulness, ingenuity and creativity, as well as consistency, accountability, and a set of knowledge in the areas of administration and finance.” Among the members of the association mostly involved in tourism, a student of Business Informatics, Marko Jakić, and of Finance and Banking, Jovica Damjanovic, MA also took part in projects.
The portfolio of completed projects includes two projects currently supported and financed by the Town of Valjevo. Green Foot, Educational Polygon intended for children in lower grades of primary schools based upon the topic of the implementation of the principles of sustainable development in an environment in which we live, was completed in October 2013.
City rally in foreign languages is a project intended for high school students in Valjevo with the aim to acquaint them through the game and ingeniuty with the cultural and natural sights. The project was realized in cooperation with the Faculty of Business Valjevo in October 2014.
Havin in mind the success it has Green Mark is often invited to various forums, conferences and other events as an example of entrepreneurial spirit and activism of young people in our country, but also to professional meetings in which it makes a contribution and through which it develops new ideas andplans new projects.
The founders and active members of the association are:
- Jelena Bošković – President
- Nenad Ikonić
- Milan Plavšić
- Dr Ivana Damjanović
Always ready for teamwork, new challenges and projects, they expect cooperation proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org.