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The commonwealth and the responsibility of all national Caritas organization through project SOCIETIES contributes to quality project implementation.

On 27th of April 2018 Caritas Serbia organized a project management meeting of the SOCIETIES project – Support Of CSOs In Empowering Technical skills, Inclusion of people with disabilities and EU standards in South East Europe.

In addition to the project team meeting was attended by directors of Caritas organizations involved in the implementation of the project, Rev. Ivica Damjanović, director of Caritas Serbia, Msgr. Tomo Knežević, director of Caritas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Don Antonio Leuci, director of Caritas Albania, Mr. Alfred Pjeri, executive director of Caritas Kosovo and Mr. Marko Đelović, Director of Caritas Montenegro.

The meeting was organized with the aim of presenting the new project management, assessing the basic project achievements, as well as the roles and responsibilities that each Caritas organization has in the implementation of the project.

The meeting was organized in the premises of the Archdiocese of Belgrade, and during the meeting participants were addressed by the President of the Caritas Serbia, Msgr. Stanislav Hočevar, the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Belgrade. He welcomed all participants of the meeting, emphasizing the need and importance of Caritas’ cooperation throughout the region.

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At the very beginning of the session participants were addressed by the Director of Caritas Serbia, Rev. Ivica Damjanović emphasizing that the project SOCIETIES is a significant project and a chance for joint action. Rev. Damjanović stated, that the meeting is an opportunity for all the national Caritas directors in the region to get acquainted with the project as well as to look for new ways to overcome all the difficulties in the implementation.

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Mr. Ettore Fusaro, representative of Caritas Italiana and an expert in the SOCIETIES project moderated the meeting. In his introductory address, Mr. Fusaro presented a full-day program of meeting, briefing the participants on all the details of the project, as well as on the current situation of project implementation and introduced the importance of social inclusion of persons in need, primarily persons with disabilities and persons with mental health issues. He emphasized that it’s time to take advantage of the benefits of European Union support to Southeast Europe with the opportunities that will soon become available to Caritas organizations in the region.

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In the second part of the meeting, local coordinators in charge of field activities discussed the identified problems in the implementation phase, and sought solutions and defined the strategy and necessary instruments to overcome these problems. During the meeting, local coordinators, with the support of the directors, sought to find ways and opportunities to multiply the realized results and ensure further capacity building not only of Caritas organizations, but also of all partner organizations and user associations.

At the end of the meeting, a detailed action plan for 2018 was made, including the continuation of the implementation of training programs, study visits, the organization of public awareness campaigns, and the concretization of activities to establish a dialogue between civil society organizations and public institutions.

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Project SOCIETIES aims to assist civil society organizations in upgrading technical skills, or to contribute to the social inclusion of people with disabilities through the implementation of EU standards in South East Europe. The project is being implemented in five countries of Southeast Europe, with the support of experts from Italy and Bulgaria. The implementation of the project involves 16 partner organizations.The projected duration is 48 months, until the end of 2019. The project is funded by the EU funds under the program of support for regional and thematic networks of civil society organizations.

“Psycho-social artwork“ exhibition opened in Valjevo

One of the techniques of psycho-social support, provided to the refugees in the Asylum center Bogovadja is the “Psycho-social artwork“. Through vivid colors of collage paper, newspapers, crayons and markers, it’s possible to notice difficult experiences of war, the journey to Europe, memories of homeland, family, but also desires and wishes to have a normal life, in peace and well-being.

In order not to leave their artwork, needs and life goals presented on paper, available just to the eyes of Caritas operators in the Asylum center Bogovadja, on the 19th of April in the “Ogradna galerija“ (Fence gallery) in Valjevo the exhibition “Psychosocial artwork“ was opened. The exhibition set in the center of Valjevo had the goal to create a bridge between the refugees and the local population, decrease conflicts between different ethnic groups of refugees and migrants present in Bogovadja, as well as to promote understanding and acceptance of representatives of different nations and the host country.

Caritas Valjevo is present in the Asylum center Bogovadja since October 2016 with a team of local and international operators, providing psycho-social support, animation and intercultural activities. The goal of these activities is to improve the quality of life of the refugees staying in the Asylum center Bogovadja and to preserve their psycho-physical health. The activities of Caritas Valjevo in Bogovadja are implemented with the support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Caritas Internationalis network, Caritas Germany and the Italian organization Ipsia.

Peace football cup held in Belgrade

On Saturday 14th of April, only a few hours after the derby between Red Star and Partizan in Belgrade and just a few kilometers away, “Peace Football Cup“ was held, organized by Refugee Aid Serbia and the Consortium, created by the organizations Care, Caritas Serbia, Oxfam and Red Cross. The cup gathered 16 teams from all Serbia: teams of refugees and migrants from the Asylum centers of Krnjaca, Bogovadja, Kikinda, Sombor, Adasevci, Banja Koviljaca, Obrenovac, the team of the Commissariat for the Refugees and Migrations of the Republic of Serbia and local Belgrade teams.

The team of the Asylum center Bogovadja, which was accompanied to the tournament by Caritas Valjevo, despite of a good play, with one victory and two defeats, failed to reach the semifinals. The team with the best football skills was the one of the Commissariat for the Refugees and Migrations, which managed to defeat the local team Yugo 55. Still the final winners of the tournament were all its participants, players, judges, organizers and the audience, which spend a spring Saturday afternoon sending a message of peace, equality and tolerance.

The work of the Consortium, of which are part Oxfam Italia, Caritas Serbia, Care and Red Cross of Serbia is financed by ECHO (European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, through the project “Humanitarian Food Assistance for refugees hosted in governmental centres in Serbia “.

The European Union with its Member States is a leading global donor of humanitarian aid. Through the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), the EU helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, ECHO provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs, without discrimination of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.


Family reunification – from Syria to Germany through Belgrade

During 2016 then 10 year old Yazan Irwani fled from Syria to Germany, where his older brother arrived a few months before him. After two years, in March 2018, the brothers received the approval of family reunification from the German authorities, so that their father, mother, brother and sister, who were in a refugee camp in Lebanon, could get all the necessary documents and fly directly to Germany. The trip was supposed to be simple: flight Beirut – Frankfurt, with a stop in Belgrade. Unfortunately, the father Husam got sick on the flight Beirut – Belgrade, which is why he was urgently transferred to the hospital and operated on the same day. The other members of the family had to continue their trip, but as soon as they got to Germany they asked for help, to find out what happened to the father and get in contact with him. Other than the uncertainty about the health situation of the father the family was also worried about the fact that he doesn’t speak Serbian or English. Through colleagues in Germany the request for help arrived to Caritas Serbia, whose employees, with the help of the ones from Caritas Belgrade, contacted the hospital, provided an Arabic translator, who helped the doctors inform the patient about his health state. They also accompanied Husam to medical examination and changing bandages, helped him around administrative problems, buying ticket to Frankfurt and in the end drove him to the airport. All the time they were in contact with the colleagues from Germany, who were providing information to the worried family of Husam. After two weeks of stay in Belgrade Husam Irwani recovered enough to get doctors permit to travel back to Germany, where finally after a long time the whole family was reunited.

Creative workshops for women in the Asylum center Krnjaca – Belgrade

Caritas of Belgrade Archdiocese continues organising occupational activities for women in the Asylum centre Krnjaca – Belgrade. Numerous women are gladly participating to the knitting workshops and thanks to the skills learned from their grandmothers and mothers, but also from other women who participate, they make for children and for themselves interesting scarves, hats, sweaters, dresses, towel holders, bags, tablecloths, curtains and bath gloves. Creative women decorate their materials with different pearls and flowers. These activities are very important to them, because they give them the opportunity to spent quality time out of the room, be useful and creative, gain knowledge and skills, which will be helpful in the future, but also spend time and exchange experiences with other women in a relaxed atmosphere. Other than these activities during April it’s also in plan to plant flowers in pots that women decorated with decoupage technique.

These activities are organised with the support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Caritas network.



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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