Almost a week ago, we arrived in Belgrade, Serbia for the start of our program. Last year was my first time coming to this country as a delegate with the Serbia Fellowship Program and this year I came back as an executive member. It has been so interesting to be on the other side of the program and helping organize activities for the new delegation.
The first place we visited was Refugee Aid Serbia, a local NGO in Belgrade that helps with refugee resettlement and refugee integration into Serbian society. The above picture is some of the artwork from the refugee children that visit the center while their parents learn subjects such as English, German, and Math. While acting as Director of Outreach, my goal was to be more involved with various organizations in Serbia, especially those that have an international focus. We were given a presentation packed full of information about the ins and outs of the refugee crisis and specifically in a Serbian context. Our group asked questions about general feelings that Serbians have towards refugees and migrants, the importance of teaching those who come to RAS English, the legal process that those fleeing state violence have to go through, as well as how the current American political climate has affected the way Serbia deals with the refugee crisis.
Since I was behind organizing this event it was a little stressful trying to make sure everyone was having a good time. However, nerves aside, my first week being back in Serbia has been filled with bringing back old memories, making new ones and A LOT of great Serbian food. I can’t wait to see what else this trip has in store for me, as well as everyone who is visiting Serbia for the first time!