Giving something back

Several charities work in Serbia doing their best to alleviate the suffering of refugees and displaced people. Serbia’s Roma community, given the straitened circumstances in which they often find themselves, are frequently targeted as being an especially deserving cause. Save the Children UK has been active in Serbia since 1993. Formerly they were most active in emergency aid and rehabilitation work but since 2003 have focused mainly on development activities, most notably in working with local Roma NGOs to improve educational achievement for Roma children. SOS Children’s Villages works in Novi Sad and Kraljevo supporting disadvantaged children by running creative free-time activities, while Care International UK works in Serbia to prevent human trafficking and support peace-building activities.

In contrast to the above charities, the US-based BLAGO Fund concerns itself primarily with Serbia’s cultural heritage, especially its Orthodox churches and monasteries. The BLAGO Fund state that their mission is to preserve and promote Serbian treasures that tie together past, present and future. One of their current projects is to save the frescoes of Mileševa Monastery, which are in urgent need of conservation. They receive considerable patronage from the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian diaspora overseas, particularly in the United States.

Those who would prefer to help Serbian birdlife might be interested in the activities of the Bird Study and Protection Society of Serbia, which was established in 1989 and is an active and committed organisation that carefully maintains a network of active members throughout the country, focusing on bird and habitat conservation and on increasing knowledge about birds in Serbia.

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