Scout Organization of Serbia “Safe travel” Messengers of Peace Project
The main goal of the project is to provide relief to the increasing number of refugees that are transiting through Serbia by providing them with meals prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs and providing them with information to help them make their journey onward as safe as possible by providing them with basic information which will make them less susceptible to fraud. In addition, the information about the activity is distributed to media and through social media channels, which will, we hope, improve public’s perception of refugees and reduce possible risks of intercultural conflicts between them and the local population.
The distribution of free meals and information sheets to refugees going through the area around the main bus station in Belgrade has started on Monday, October 19th and until today we have distributed 4500 meals to refugees, 300 meals every day. The distribution is supported by groups of 7 to 9 scout volunteers from Serbia every day. While distributing meals, the volunteers are also using the time to talk to some of the refugees and give them information they need, as well as act as a form of emotional support to them so that they feel welcome. In addition to distributing free meals, we are also distributing information leaflets with text in English, Arabic and Farsi languages. Since we have noticed that many leaflets are being thrown away, we have also made information boards that have been put in the park where most of the refugees are gathering.
One day we had help from our Scout friends from UK (Challenger ESU) in distributing leaflets and meals.
The project has been additionally supported by the Schüler Helfen Leben foundation, so we were able to add tea to the meals and the catering company has donated fruits. Also, the project has been recognized by the city council of Belgrade and the city officials paid a visit to the activities during last weekend and encouraged volunteers and refugees as well.
Seeing that this kind of activity has a positive impact on refugees, they feel welcome, supported and rejuvenated we came to conclusion that even though free Halal meals are main focus of our project, interaction and kind words of encouragement and support from our Scout volunteers are just as important.
We would like to encourage YOU to try and help these people any way YOU can because they need all our attention and support.
The change starts with YOU!
Chief Commissioner/Project Manager
Scout Organization of Serbia