Civic Initiatives, Citizens' Association for Democracy and Civic Education has been founded in May 1996 by a group of prominent NGO activists that were involved in the anti-war movement and non-nationalist democratic opposition since 1990. Civic Initiatives' founders analysed and evaluated the relative failure of democratic movements against Milosevic regime. A great need was recognized to create social, civil base that could sustain democratic changes by educating citizens about their rights, democracy, civil society and how to be active citizens in order to decide about own lives.
Our vision is society of equal and active citizens who decide about their lives in a democratic, civil state of law with full respect of human rights.
Our mission is to strengthen civil society through education, promotion of democracy and support of active citizenship.
Our underlying values are equality and equal opportunities, sharing with others, commitment, tolerance, solidarity, caring about people, setting up relationships and partnerships with people rather than imposing ourselves, and permanent education for all. People are our organization's main value and resource.
CI strategy is that only by breaking down regional, national, ethnic, religious, gender and social barriers it is possible to build a stronger, more effective, and potentially more sustainable NGO community and thus to contribute to the development of the society in general. We try to overcome fear and isolation inherited from the past and increased by the Milosevic regime, by putting in contact people who otherwise wouldn't meet each other and this encourages cooperation, joint activities, exchange ideas, learning from each other.
That is why CI focuses its activities on non-Belgrade NGOs, reaching out to smaller cities and rural localities throughout Serbia and Montenegro, but not to exclusion, believing that it is important to connect local groups with those in the capital. We decided not to open branch offices of CI, but to base our work on cooperation with strong and independent local partners.