WHO WE ARE
We began as a collaboration of concerned citizens, non-governmental organizations, charities, and local businesses operating out of Miksalište refugee centre, in the Savamala neighbourhood in Belgrade. Here we collected and delivered clothing, food and hygiene items to the hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers transiting Serbia.
Prioritising our adaptability, we moved out of Miksalište to focus on the behind-the-scenes work of aid delivery in mobile teams around the country, as well as awareness raising and community engagement.
Since then we have witnessed the official closure of the Balkan route, despite which asylum seekers still arrive in Serbia daily, many of whom stop off in Belgrade city-centre. Many become stuck, sleeping rough in improvised shelters and abandoned buildings. Here, we meet some of their most basic needs and offer them a moment of respite. We provide short term assistance through our delivery of essential aid and long-term educational and recreational programs. We always look to raise refugee issues with the public through external trainings, fundraising events and conferences.
We believe that people are often misinformed or misled about the refugee crisis, which is why we’re starting the Odyssey Project. You can read more about the ways in which we are trying to bring about public engagement and humanise the refugee experience here.
Since our inception we have developed into an eclectic team who are passionate about providing humanitarian aid with respect to individuals of all backgrounds, whilst fostering a broader culture of volunteering in the places we work.
We want these communities we live in and the communities we serve to be involved at every step. If you’d like to join us too, get in touch.
Jules Kovacevic has been director of Refugee Aid Serbia since it’s inception. Alongside her work for a clinical research organisation, Jules is Co-President of Belgrade Foreign Visitors Club. She is married with 2 children and has been living in Ruma, Serbia now for 12 years.
Lissett Menendez Fermoselle has been in Belgrade so long that the Danube flows through her veins. Previously she worked at the UN and subsequently as a freelance consultant. She has been with RAS from the beginning, for fun she enjoys discovering new places with her 3 children.
Felix Thomson has been with RAS since June 2016. He brings along with him experience in youth employment, press relations and international culture. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, playing guitar and recently converted to veganism.
Diana Vasov joined RAS in mid June 2016. A former refugee herself and recent graduate with a Master of Human Rights and Bachelors in Psychology, she is well equiped to lead our team of volunteers on the ground. In her spare time Diana’s surfs and writes.
Sam Horn, originally from Belgium and trained as an engineer, has also been living in Belgrade for the past year. He is fluent in Serbian and has his feet firmly established in the local youth culture.
Petar Bojović is the Serbian addition to the RAS team. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience having spent the majority of his career in the media industry, working in advertising, television and film. In his spare time, he eats plants and meditates.
Our mission is to assist refugees, displaced persons and those affected by disasters on the basis of humanitarian principles and human rights. We aim to empower local communities, NGO’s and governments to respond in emergency situations through promoting a culture of good governance and volunteering. RAS is against any kind of discrimination and is committed to tolerance, multiculturalism and respect for diversity, human and minority rights and gender equality.