Social security

On the occasion of awarding the children from the newly formed settlements who wrote the best poems on the subject "My Town" in late January 2011, a special event was organized at the Old Palace (City Hall). About 60 children have submitted their songs in the contest for the best poem about the city of Belgrade. The settlements have continued the workshops where women learn how to knit and tat.

During February and March 2011 this Secretariat, in the cooperation with the National Employment Agency, have organized employment motivational workshops. The results of these workshops are now visible, because about 30 people from the newly established settlement has been employed in the cooperation with the city Public Utility companies.

In September 2011. Secretariat for Social Welfare started in collaboration with the NGO "Civic Initiatives" project in adult literacy in all newly formed Roma settlements. The project is conducted by students of Belgrade University.

Activities aimed at educating children through socializing, sightseeing and introduction to different types of occupations have been conducted. During May 2011 children visited the Ada Bridge and the sightseeing tour from an open bus has been organized.

In this period, children also had the opportunity to meet and hang on with the Serbian National water polo team. From November 2010 to March 2011 students from the Faculty of Philology were working with children in the settlement every Saturday, in order to improve reading, as well as to improve their fluency in Serbian and their ability to love books and literature.

During the summer months of 2011, various activities were organized for children of the newly formed settlements, and so children had opportunity to attend a volleyball match of Serbia - Argentina, to visit the Avala Tower, the Aviation Museum, to see the Carnival of ships, that has been organized as a part of the "Summer on Gardoš". They visited exhibition "Nectar, World of Dinosaurs". In addition to these various sports activities have been organized, as well as creative workshops and trips: summer sport camp in Surcin, scouting in Barajevo, summer school of volleyball at Ada Ciganlija, swimming in pools in Barajevo, art and acting workshops and the vent on trips "Belgrade from the rivers" (boat trip on the Danube). In October 2011, a meeting had been organized with children who participated in international children festival “Joy of Europe".

The House Rules, with instructions for maintaining hygiene in the settlement, as well as instructions for good behavior and good interpersonal relationships have been distributed to residents.

Employees from the Secretariat regularly hold meetings with residents on the hygiene and public order in the settlement. Each week, all the residents of the settlement are required to participate in organized cleaning of the settlement.

Local community health specialists held in August 2011, education on hygiene. In cooperation with the Centre "Dr. Ristic" in September 2011, they gave lectures on personal hygiene and hygiene of living space.

From October 2010 Department of Social Welfare, in cooperation with the "Anlave" clinic, started with lectures on family planning and sex education in settlements. From November 2010 lectures on alcoholism have been organized in settlements.

Current Activities

Fight against poverty cannot be limited only to social security system. Thus, in order to fight poverty and social exclusion in the newly resettled communities, the Action Plan of the City covered various issues – employment, housing, education, family policy and continuous social security improvement. In accordance with the needs, the Secretariat for Social Security formed a team for implementation of the Action Plan, which was established as Sector for the Care of Resettled Persons and Informal Settlements as of January 1st 2011. The prime role of this newly established Sector is to initiate, monitor and implement children and adult socialization programs, employment programs and life quality improvement programs in the settlements.

Secretariat for Social Security of the City of Belgrade, as the operational unit in charge of Gazela inhabitant resettlement activities, made necessary preparations and then executed the resettlement.

The initial activity was to organize meetings with the inhabitants of the Gazela settlement. During those first meetings, all of those who used to live in the informal settlement were informed comprehensively and in detail about the conditions and process of resettlement. Particular attention was paid to keeping families together, thus families and close relatives were moved to the same locations. In the newly established settlements, school age children were provided with books, clothes and footwear for school years 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012. In coordination with relevant institutions, the Secretariat for Social Welfare enabled fast and efficient acquiring of personal documents and other valid personal documentation for the resettled citizens who didn’t have such documentation.

New settlements have been provided with mobile sanitary units, equipment and furniture: beds, tables, chairs, clothes, cupboards, heating devices and fire extinguishers. In September 2010 the Secretariat for Social Welfare established a Team for Implementation of Action Plan. From then on various activities have been organized at the newly-formed settlements which are of importance for the development of social integration process for these communities. Each week, advertisements for employment are displayed at social centres and the citizens who have relevant level of education are sent directly to interested employers. All those who have shown interest have been enabled to get employment at City utility companies. Especially encouraging is the fact that most of the newly-employed proved to be good and conscientious employees.

In January 2011 intensive courses were organized for all those interested in mastering crafts for which there is demand on labour market. Particular attention is paid to employment of women, improvement of their status and raising conscience of gender equality.

Since October 2010, in cooperation with Anlave Clinic, the Secretariat for Social Welfare has started a series of lectures on family planning and sexual education. Furthermore, lectures on alcoholism have been organized at the settlements since November 2010.

Child care is always the most important and the most inspiring task. This huge endeavour includes numerous interactive educational programmes, games and entertainment. Thanks to publishing companies that have donated children’s books, there are now well equipped libraries at all social centres and programmes have started for improving literacy and creativity among children, including reading, acting and verbal skills. Visits have been organized to the Belgrade Fire Brigade, as well as courses for using fire extinguishers. There have also been visits to the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, Veterinarian Faculty, sightseeing visit to Kalemegdan, National Assembly, sport clubs and other institutions and organizations where children got acquainted with various professions and acquired useful knowledge on the work and creative life of adults. Educational excursions and visits are a strong motivation for attending school, since only those children who regularly attend school have the possibility to be included in those activities. With the beginning of 2011, new educational courses have started for children such as foreign language courses, sport activities and voluntary work (assistance at senior clubs and at local community).

In the period from January to June 2011, the Department for care of IDPs and Informal Settlements improved programs for socialization and education of the population of newly formed settlements and achieved tangible results in improving the quality of life of residents in these settlements. Programs include lectures on safety, traffic safety, domestic violence and drug addiction, performed by representatives of the Police. In the cooperation with the Municipal Police trainings has been organized, within which children and adults learned about the municipal order, their rights and duties. In the period mentioned above, organized visits to public institutions were continued.