The opening ceremony of the Center for Better Society in Ljubija was held on 2 July 2017 within the framework of the project „Respect Rural Women“ which is financed by the European Union, and implemented by Caritas of Banja Luka Diocese in partnership with Caritas Austria.
Dr. Miljenko Aničić, director of Caritas of Banja Luka Diocese, welcomed everyone and emphasized that the door of the Center is open to all and that this event is a manifesto of unification and cooperation of different national, religious and ethnic affiliations. “The Centre will enable rural women to fulfill their abilities and talents and to incorporate them into the development and prosperity of the community” said Aničić.
Project manager Mara Stipić Bagarić presented the project „Respect Rural Women“ and its objectives, particularly stressing the importance of the Center as a safe and supportive environment for more active inclusion of rural women in social, economic and cultural life. Manager of the Center Ivana Šarić explained some services within the Center such as counseling, organizing creative and interactive workshops, promoting volunteerism and altruism, public speaking, meeting with decision-makers, strengthening gender equality, personal development and empowerment of women at all levels.
The priest of the parish Ljubija Ilija Piličić expressed his contentment because Ljubija was selected for this project, pointing to the needs of the local population, especially women from these areas. Effendi Husein Velić, the main imam of Majlis of the Islamic Community Prijedor, emphasized that it is necessary to improve the position and role of woman in her family and in the community and that this project initiative contributes to the activism of women. Mr. Rade Rosić, Head of Department of Economy and Agriculture of the town Prijedor, welcomed the establishment of the Center for better Society in Ljubija, and mentioned the efforts of the town Prijedor to support women entrepreneurship and focus on marginalized groups of women.
Local people of Ljubija and surrounding villages actively participated in the organization of the opening event and with their attendance expressed their support and gratitude to the European Union and Caritas for this project initiative. In the newly opened premises of the Center, a handcraft exhibition of hardworking women from Ljubija was organized.