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PROTECTA was founded by the participants of the Student protest in 1996/97 whose aim was to direct the energy of the young in the future towards positive social activities on the local and national level. Although it was registered in 1998, PROTECTA began conducting its activities in 1997 even, as an informal group.

The most significant step in the development of the organisation was the opening of the Information centre for the NGOs in southern Serbia in January 2000. At the time of the great pressure upon the media and NGOs during the Milosevic regime, PROTECTA’s Information centre informed the activists of the NGO sector about the news, possibilities of cooperation, obtaining funds and activities towards creating a civil society in Serbia. Activists and the management of PROTECTA were arrested and taken to hearings on several occasions. Owing to the education of its members and recognising genuine problems of the local communities in southern Serbia, PROTECTA became an object of interest for a large number of donors. In 2000 we realised 3 projects with the annual budget of 30 000 German marks. A great number of young people helped PROTECTA grow, create new projects and gain new friends with their ideas and enthusiasm. PROTECTA teams were created in that way, through which young people can get information and realise their ideas in the fields of interest. PROTECTA grew gradually, both structurally and in programmes, year by year, with the growing support of its donors.