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Inspiration from Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro

Mulka Nisic is a project manager at the University of Derby (UK) but she is also leading a regional Balkan project called ‘Choose recovery’ which started in 2015.

This project is active in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro.

Choose Recovery has facilitated the cooperation with key stakeholders in society in order to provide more opportunities to marginalized and vulnerable groups affected by drugs and those in recovery to re-integrate, enhance their position and wellbeing, and to live as equal and contributing members of society. They aim to broaden the efforts to counter stigma towards marginalized and excluded people in recovery. Furthermore, they aim to focus on access to education and employment for people in recovery.

To do so they have established 14 multidisciplinary teams that operate on city levels in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro who have established a mission and implemented activities to translate that mission and ultimately become inclusive cities for people in recovery. They also focus on including people with lived experiences in their activities.

2022 marks the evaluation of their “Choose Recovery” project and multidisciplinary team-work. All 14 teams have met recently d

uring the Regional Balkan Forum on Addictions and Recovery in Belgrade, Serbia, to evaluate the work and discuss the way forward. The evaluation is still undergoing. The evaluation focuses on a newly developed questionnaire based on the recovery model CHIME (acronym for Connectedness, Hope and optimism about the future, Identity, Meaning in life and Empowerment) and will assess if the cities have succeeded in promoting and enabling the elements of CHIME in practice.

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