Activities in 2013 - Serbia

DRC Representative in Serbia, Marina Cremonese, tells about this year's effort.

The biggest challenge this year has been to find the most adequate housing solution for a large number of refugees and IDPs who have been living for more than a decade or even two in collective centers in Serbia. For some of them, life has come to a standstill, but fortunately many are still managing to even start families in these inadequate conditions.

The purpose of the IPA 2011 project implemented by the Danish Refugee Council Serbia, in cooperation with Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia was to provide these families with dignifying living conditions through proper housing. One of those families fully supported through the project was the four-member family of Marinko Kazic’s.

Marinko (28 yrs) came from Orahovce in Kosovo in 2000 and found shelter in the collective centre “Karatas” in Kladovo. After years spent in displacement, he met his wife-to-be Julijana, also an internally displaced person from Orahovac. The couple married four years ago and their two children were born in the collective centre. These young parents raise their children Petar and Dunja in inadequate living conditions which are quite inappropriate for minors’ health and carefree childhood. At the same time, shabby collective centre premises and dismal ambient reminding the residents of their misfortunes can no longer be a suitable housing solution for a young couple plunging into life.

Giving a chance for a decent beginning in a new prefabricated house to a young and striving family, such as the Kazics is without any doubt one of the greatest achievements in this local integration project. It’s not only the house, but it’s a proper start in life to live fully. Soon, the prospects for income generating activities will be materialising as well. The family will start to cultivate the land around the house.