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One year of Caritas work in helping the people from the flooded areas

On Saturday 27th of June in Sabac Caritas organized a meeting of all the volunteers and staff members who worked in helping the people affected by floods in Serbia in the past year. Right from the first days of the floods Caritas was present on the field, providing assistance to the people in need and this aid is still ongoing.

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At the beginning of this meeting all the people present were greeted by Belgrade Archbishop and President of Caritas Serbia Msgr. Stanislav Hocevar, who pointed out that we need to take some recommendations for the future from this catastropy, we shouldn’t let that just disasters wake us up and connect us, but we should be ready to create new visions as a response to different problems we meet. Those problems could be natural disasters like floods, but also those spiritual, pedagogical, moral, cultural or social “floods“, which could be even more dangerous, said Msgr. Hocevar.

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After these introductory words Darko Tot, National Coordinator of Caritas Serbia, expressed his gratitude to all the people present for their commitment in the past year, starting from the Archbishop Msgr. Stanislav Hocevar, who regularly monitored and guided the work of Caritas and then to all the others: the executives of Caritas of Belgrade Archbishopric, Caritas Serbia, the representatives of Caritas teams from Sabac, Valjevo, Obrenovac, Krupanj and many other cities. After this Mr. Tot presented the chronological results achieved through this year, in which Caritas has helped more than 22.000 households affected by floods.

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Miroljub Nikolic, director of Caritas Sabac pointed out that in the past year Caritas has shown a great power of unity, thanks to which it was possible to do a lot for the good of the people.

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Miloje Veljić, director of Caritas Belgrade Archbishiopric thanked all the volunteers and employees who worked on the activities of helping the people from the flooded areas, pointing out that without them this project wouldn’t exist, as also that Caritas functioned as a mechanism in which every part had it’s importance.

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All people present were greeted by the Mayor of Sabac Nebojsa Zelenovic, who expressed his gratitude for all the assistance which arrived to Sabac after the floods and for the human effort which was directed not only to material assistance, but also to the one which was necessary for everyone in that moment, which is a kind word and a helping hand. The Mayor also pointed out that the City of Sabac found a sincere partner on the field of social assistance.

Impressions of Caritas staff members:

Dušan: It was wonderful to be a part of Caritas in the past year. Thanks to all of you who stood behind us and who fought with us with mud, rain and sun.

Dušica: It’s was a pleasure to meet so many wonderful people in Caritas, from which I learned a lot. 


One year after the floods – Educational DRR activities in schools

One year has already passed since the disastrous floods that have striken our country and caused great damage. The causes of the disaster, like heavy rains and overflowing of river beds have deteriorated with the an inadequate preparation for these kind of situation and by human negligence towards the environment. With the project “Disaster risk reduction“ Caritas Serbia has the goal to influence the preparation of local communities for eventual urgent situations, as also to influence disaster risk reduction through environmental protection.

At the beginning of April 2015 Caritas Serbia has started implementing educational activities within the Disaster risk reduction project. The activities are organized for children from elementary schools (from 8 to 14 years old), divided in two groups: from 1st to 4th grade (age 7-11) and from the 5th to the 7th grade (age 11-14).

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For the first age group Caritas is organizing workshops for teachers, in order to talk about the importance of disaster risk reduction and present the handbook for children “Let’s get ready with Herman“ , in which a hermit crab called Herman describes different natural disasters that have happened to him (floods, earthquake, fire, landslides) and his search for a perfect house. The teachers later use this handbook within their activities with children and also invite kids to read it together with their parents at home. Caritas provides free handbooks for all children whose teachers are interested in participating in this project.

For children from the 5th till the 8th grade Caritas is organizing workshops about environmental protection and ways of behaving in case of a natural disaster, hosted by members of Caritas staff or an external collaborator of Caritas, who developed this workshop.

The first workshop for teachers was held in the school “Dimitrije Tucovic“ in the village Jabucje near Lajkovac on the 30th of April, while on the 1st of June was held a tematic day and a quiz about the gained knowledge.

On the 11th of May in the school “Bratstvo i jedinstvo“ in Kucura, near Vrbas was held a meeting with teachers, on which was presented the handbook “Let’s get ready with Herman“. The teachers of this school were interested in participating in this project and they already planned a disaster risk reduction quiz for the students of the fourth grade, which was organized on 22th of May. During the quiz the children have shown a great knowledge and interest in this topic, so they were awarded with many gifts, like Caritas caps, t-shirts with the image of Herman, colored pencils, etc. The same quiz was organized for the students of the second grade on 5th of June. On that same day the representatives of Caritas meet with the members of the local community Kucura, to talk about the future disaster risk reduction action in the community.
The students of the 6th grade of this school had a workshop about environmental protection and behaving in disaster situations on 22th of May.

In the elementary school “Nada Purić“ in Valjevo the workshop for teachers was held on Thursday 21st of May. The teachers agreed that it would be very useful to organize a thematic day about disaster risk reduction topic, for the students of the 3rd and the 4th grade. The event was organized on the 11th of June and during this day the students had a chance to check the knowledge they gained about this topic. The students from the 7th grade of this school participated on the workshop about environmental protection on 25th of May, while for the students from the 6th grade this workshop was held on 1st of June.

In the school “Filip Visnjic“ in the village Morovic near Jamena on the 28th of May was held the workshop about environmental protection for the students from the older age group, after which for the teachers was organized the presentation of the handbook „Let’s get ready with Herman“. A quiz for the students of the younger age group was held on 10th of June.

All children who participated in this educational activities have showen great knowledge and great interest to the topic of disaster risk reduction. So far in the project more than 800 students have participated. These educational activities will continue in all Serbia with the beggining of the new school year.

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Study visit to Serbia within the project Societies

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Within the project SOCIETIES a study visit was organized from 11 to 13 March, aiming to exchange experiences and examples of good practice in the field of social inclusion between civil society organizations (CSOs)participating in the project. Representatives of 15 CSOs from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo, together…

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Recognition of Caritas Serbia work on disaster risk reduction

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Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina and Caritas Serbia recently received recognition for their exceptional work in disaster risk reduction. On March 1stthey were awarded by the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina for supporting disaster risk reduction in their respective countries and co-operating across borders. Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina’s main contribution was…

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English language classes for refugees in Bujanovac

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Caritas psycho-social support team from Bujanovac Reception Center organises lessons of English language for refugees and migrants, every day, from Monday to Friday. The participants are divided into three groups, in relation to their previous knowledge. They attend classes regularly, with the goal to master the language better. The members…

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