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Caritas organizations from South-East Europe, together with Caritas Italiana and Caritas Bulgaria, invite all interested parties to take part in a design contest launched within the mental health anti-stigma campaign under the slogan


Campaign is being realized within the project “SOCIETIES”

on the occasion of 10th October, World Mental Health Day.


THE PROJECT SOCIETIES – www. projectsocieties.org

The project SOCIETIES is a regional project financed by the European Commission and is implemented in 5 countries of South-East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia, with expertise and good practices from EU member countries, Italy and Bulgaria. SOCIETIES is a regional alliance for social inclusion of 16 CSOs at European level with the goal to empower the networks, CSOs and grass-roots organization in participation in public debate and dialogue with authorities, enhancing their expertise and know-how in order to influence policy-making processes and promote social inclusion policies.



Every human being can face a feeling of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, or emotional discomfort. These are usually short-term reactions to different life situations. However, the duration and intensity of feelings or changed cognitive patterns can make ordinary defense mechanisms no longer sufficient. In this case, most effective are specialized therapy and community support. However, due to the stigma, feeling of shame or fear of misunderstanding, social condemnation and exclusion, most people do not ask for help.

It is estimated that about 450 million people suffer from some kind of a mental disorder. Mental disorders can affect anyone, anytime, regardless of age, sex, intelligence, education, income.


There are three types of stigma:

  1. Public or social stigma, referring to public misconceptions toward individuals with

mental health problems;

  1. Individual stigma, resulting from a person’s internalization of the public’s negative

perceptions; and

  1. Institutional stigma, occurring when policies regarding mental health unreasonably limit

the opportunities of an individual.





The goal of “IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE” campaign is to raise awareness and reduce stigmatization, prejudice and discrimination and to underline importance of prevention of mental disorders.





The right to participation is given to all persons who deliver their art-graphic solution.

An art-graphic solution can be created in the form of graphic illustrations, drawings, caricatures, posters, etc. and should be an original and follow the slogan of the campaign “IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE”. Furthermore it should promote equality, respect, understanding and support for people with mental disabilities. A graphic solution must not be offensive and/or discriminating to any group of people or individuals.

An art-graphic solution should be submitted in PDF format by September 30, 2018 to email address contest@projectsocieties.org.

In addition to the proposed solutions, potential authors should provide personal information: name, surname, country, email address, phone number.

The selected art-works, with the author’s signature, will be used for campaigning and promoting mental health.

The selection of the winning proposals will be done through online voting at www.projectsocieties.org

The winners will be announced on 10th of October 2018 at www.projectsocieties.org

The winners will be invited to participate in the final event of the project “SOCIETIES”, to be held in Belgrade in October 2019.

The 3 winning authors will be awarded with:

  1. Graphic tablet;
  2. GoPro camera;
  3. External hard drive.

Notice: Selected authors are committed to giving all property rights to Caritas.

Contact for further information: marina.kostic@caritas.rs

Over 120,000 meals distributed in Presevo during this year

After three years of work, the Reception Center for Refugees and Migrants in Presevo has been temporarily closed, in order to rationalize refugee centers in Serbia. Most refugees and migrants who passed through Serbia had their first encounter with our country and its citizens at this center. Caritas was among the first to begin providing meals for refugees and migrants who passed through Presevo in August 2015. For three years meals for the refugees were prepared by “Tradicija juga”, a social enterprise from Vranje, which employs persons from socially vulnerable groups , such as single mothers, victims of violence, persons over 50 years old, persons who have lost their jobs in the privatization process.

Only from January 22 of this year, until the closing of the Presevo Reception Center on August 17th, over 120,000 meals were distributed through the project “Humanitarian Food Assistance for refugees hosted in governmental centres in Serbia “. Meals were provided on a daily basis, three times a day, through a project funded by the European Union, and implemented in Serbia through a consortium led by Oxfam Italy. In addition to Caritas Serbia and Oxfam Italy, Care Germany and Red Cross of Serbia are also involved in this project. The Caritas Serbia implementation partners are Caritas of Belgrade Archdiocese and Philanthropy – Charitable Foundation of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In addition to Presevo, within this project, Caritas continues to provide food on a daily basis in Bujanovac, Vranje and Pirot Reception Centers. Meals were also provided in Dimitrovgrad Reception Center from July 1st till August 9th, 2018, when this center was also closed.

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.


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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