Thousands of refugees are everyday passing through Serbia on the way to western European countries (mainly Germany, Scandinavian countries and Holland) hoping for a better life. Many are temporarily based in Belgrade, in the park, by the bus station. The conditions have worsened in the last few days since an increased number of people have arrived crossing the Macedonia border. Entire families are staying overnight before continuing they journey with only basic stuff and rely on the help they find along the way.
The support from Belgrade have been generous and number of initiatives are born to support those in needs with services and donations.
I had the opportunity to help at the refugee cloths/food collection centre in Belgrade, initiated by the cultural organisation Mikser House and supported by a number of local charities such as Refugee Aid Serbia, Sačuvajmo bebe, Srpska Solidarnost Hranom, GivingBackSerbia (NGO) and others.
These charities have joined forces under the umbrella of Refugee Aid Serbia and cooperate between themselves bypassing the State and larger/bureaucratic organisations, slower by nature, in order to act fast and provide immediate help.
The centre currently provides clothes, food and hygiene products as well as doctor’s support for children. It relies on the effort of volunteers and donations from the citizens. The response, from the people of Belgrade, has been overwhelming, bringing aid to the centre on daily basis.
There is a truly international team working hard every day to help refugees, overcoming cultural differences and languages barriers mainly between English, Serbian and Arabic.
A special contribution came from Morgan and Danielle (WeGoSerbia), who arrived to Belgrade hitch-hiking from Brighton, UK, which have offered their expertise and strong leadership skills gained working for the British Red Cross, as well as networking for this initiative to grow even more.
Thanks to all involved in helping those in need, all the companies involved all the volunteers and citizens who organised themselves bringing the essentials.
Below are the links for those who wishes to contact the various charities organisations involved.
Refugee Aid Serbia: https://www.facebook.com/groups/999905293382660/
Sačuvajmo bebe : https://www.facebook.com/Sacuvajmobebe?fref=ts
Srpska Solidarnost Hranom : http://www.srpskasolidarnosthranom.org
Mikser House: https://www.facebook.com/mikser.belgrade?fref=ts
Belgrade Foreign Visitors Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bgfvc/
WeGoSerbia : https://www.facebook.com/wegoserbia?fref=ts
Refugees cloths/food collection center address: Mostarska 5, Beograd