In 2015 and 2016, during the migrant-refugee crisis more than 600,000 refugees and migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones transited through Serbia. The difficult situation of these people required great responsibility, but also humanity of members of the communities through which the migrants transited or spent some time. Citizens of Serbia showed great solidarity and provided significant support to people who found themselves in trouble.
Most of the challenges and difficulties during the crisis were of the municipalities and towns in the border areas, primarily Preševo, Sid and Dimitrovgrad. These are communities that are themselves facing poverty and various other problems, but showed courage and resourcefulness in the crisis situation.
Therefore, the Open Society Foundation, Serbia and Group 484 decided to support the community in these municipalities by donations for the most important members of society – children
The action of support to municipalities Sid, Presevo and Dimitrovgrad was conducted in the form of donations of educational materials, technical equipment and toys to preschool institutions. The materials had been carefully selected according to the needs of kindergartens. In addition, minor repairs were done in the playgrounds in Presevo and Dimitrovgrad, and in the Presevo regional unit seesaws, swings, benches and a carousel were placed in the yard of the kindergarten.
The handover ceremony in Sid was held on May 18 in the preschool institution “Jelica Stanivukovic Silja”, in Presevo on May 26 in the preschool institution “March 8” and in Dimitrovgrad on May 27 in preschool institution “September 8”. With a cheerful program prepared by the children, and attended by the members of local institutions, the media and representatives of the Foundation for an Open Society and Group 484, donations were presented with good wishes and in a good mood.
With this action, the Open Society Foundation and Group 484 recognise openness, cordiality and willingness of citizens to help people in need, which proved to be the most visible in the most critical period of the 2015/2016 migrant-refugee crisis.
We believe that the positive example of these municipalities will be a model for other local communities in Serbia regarding the attitude towards the others and different.
Project: Improving Migration Policies in Serbia and the Countries of the Western Balkans
Objective: Support to local communities
Implementers: Group 484 (Direct Support Program)
Support: Open Society Foundation, Serbia