CRS Work in Serbia
Catholic Relief Services' work in Serbia revolves around three pillars. The first is assistance to refugees and displaced people, many of whom live in legal and financial uncertainty more than 10 years after taking flight. CRS also works in ethnically divided southern Serbia to promote tolerance, peace and human rights. Finally, CRS promotes employment opportunities for disabled adults and inclusive education for children with developmental issus.
Helping War Refugees Start New Lives
A decade after the war in Kosovo, more than 220,000 refugees and displaced people still live in the two states of Serbia and Montenegro. Many of these people belong to ethnic minority groups such as Roma. CRS provides free legal assistance through a network of partners in Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Refugees and displaced people are able to access legal documents like birth certificates and solve issues relating to property ownership in their place of origin. Some clients also receive materials and training to begin small businesses and earn a living in their new surroundings.
Promoting Peace Among Ethnic Groups
Southern Serbia is made up of Serbs, Albanians and Roma—groups that have clashed in the past. In Bujanovac, a town near the Kosovo border, and in neighboring impoverished areas, ethnic tensions are still high. CRS helps local organizations improve multiethnic dialogue and opportunities for women and youth in this poorest part of Serbia.
Helping People With Disabilities Live Full Lives
CRS and our partners help adults with disabilities find meaningful employment. CRS programs also empower parents of children with developmental disabilities, helping them advocate for their children to be educated with their peers in public schools and preschools.