Our monitoring project is unique in collating accurate, up to date information on refugees and migrants across Serbia. Our highly trained team of field officers is collecting data and conducting interviews throughout the country, focusing primarily on new arrivals but also including theme-based analysis of protection issues based on migration trends, such as unaccompanied minors, inter-communal violence, demographic trends etc. Our regular reports can be found on our website or in our monthly newsletters.
This project is carried out through the support of our partner Oxfam.
In partnership with Serbian NGO North Star we run ‘The Workshop’, a dedicated education centre which provides educational and recreational activities to refugees from nearby camps five days a week. Starting from the belief that communication in English is a basic necessity along their journeys, we developed ‘Survival English Classes’ that target the specific needs, vocabulary and high-priority English phrasing of the refugees/migrants currently in Belgrade, starting with health, clothing and asking for help. From there, we have expanded into maths, science and geography and much more, and our recreational workshops range from arts and crafts to music to cake decoration. We are also expanding our skills building programs around computer literacy.
We believe that we can achieve more when we work together. That’s why partnerships with local communities have always been intrinsic to our work.
We run a variety of projects and events that aim to raise awareness of refugee issues amongst the general public and to foster the interaction between locals and refugee communities. These include our football club, where refugees and locals train together once a week and play local competitions, our community gardening project in partnership with Bastaliste and our ‘Shoebox Project’ to collect and deliver presents to both refugee and Serbian children. Our regular awareness raising events range from film screenings to panel discussions and workshops.
In the past, we have worked closely with the International Women’s Club Belgrade for our “Women to Women” project, as well as with the community-driven knitting project Pletenje srcem to create much-needed hats and scarves.
An attempt to challenge the hostile discourse surrounding migrants, the Odyssey Project is a documentary following three humanitarian aid workers – Diana, Felix and Sam – as they trace one of the main migration routes into Europe.
Whilst there are more refugees and displaced people now than at any other time on record, public and media discourse is often apathetic, misguided or even hostile. In contrast to the rising numbers of people seeking safety, media coverage is minimal and often focuses on the potential dangers of accepting insignificant numbers of refugees. And whilst there have been many effective interventions from governments and civil society, it has also been made increasingly difficult to provide essential humanitarian aid to those making such perilous journeys.
Throughout the journey, the team stopped off at 6 cities to organise Routes festivals, based on similar events we piloted in Serbia, in collaboration with some incredible organisations and individuals on the ground. The festivals brought together local communities and the local refugee populations through workshops, discussions and performances. You can read more about the project at https://www.routesfilm.com/.