Care for the living conditions at the new settlements

Although the City of Belgrade finds itself in a situation of high unemployment, slow economic recovery and lack of job positions with few new opportunities, it has managed to establish a system of social welfare and inclusion programme for the resettled citizens of the former Gazela settlement. It was with great success, taking into account social conditions, that social care was efficiently implemented during the resettlement and better life conditions have been ensured for these citizens at their new settlements. We always had in mind the necessity of a comprehensive approach to fight against poverty and exclusion, which entails a harmonized and intertwined activity of various participants. At the same time, the recommendations of the relevant European institutions have been fully implemented in practice.

Since 1st September, 2010, and in the first half of 2011, concrete steps in this field have been supervised and implemented by the Team for the Implementation of the Action Plan. Beside other issues, the Team has been in charge of intensifying the work on improving utility conditions. In cooperation with the City utility companies, replacement of used up and obsolete fire extinguishers, cleaning up of the settlements, moving and transportation of furniture to a given location, setting up of new mobile residential units and new mobile sanitary units, connecting to the electricity network, waterworks and sewerage networks have been performed. Existing issues related to the rehabilitation of the utility infrastructure are being attended to on a regular basis.

Further, in 2010, the City of Belgrade has announced competition for the use of 82 apartments for socially vulnerable citizens. The right to apply had been provided to individuals and families: (1) that are homeless, (2) that are citizens of the Republic of Serbia, (3) that are resident in the territory of Belgrade for at least two years prior to the announcement of the competition.

In the spring of 2011 twelve of socially vulnerable Roma families who were displaced under the Gazelle bridge, got their homes for temporary use in this competition. All children from those families that moved to Kamendin were enrolled in a school that is closest to the settlement. The youngest that should go in pre-school preparatory program, enrolled in kindergarten Bubamara which is located near the Kamendin apartments.

In October 2011, Surčin municipality was awarded with reward "ENOUGH!" that has been given by Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in the contest for the best project promotion and inclusion of the Roma population at the municipal level.

In the competition of 200 projects from 47 countries, city municipality of Surčin together with the city from Finland shares the first place, while the London and Madrid are on the second and third place.

Surčin Municipality is an example of good practice in implementing the integration of Roma in everyday life issues. Roma living on the territory of the municipality for the last five years were given to infrastructure, electricity, water, playground, basketball court, space for additional training, as well as space for art and folklore. In the village Boljevci in the municipality of Surčin behind each housing unit they added bathroom, kitchen and hall. Pathway were made in the settlement and the set street lights. All children go to school and adults in literacy classes.