March 26, 2016

Serbs for Serbs Canada in media

In time like this when genuine compassion and solidarity are very rare, new people shine through and restore our faith in humanity, inspiring us to be better and take pride in ourselves and in our origin. Every day, life in Canada brings on new challenges which many of us didn’t know even existed. Fund raising – collecting money on voluntary basis for something or someone is integral part of life in Canada. Almost daily, we are exposed to letters, phone calls, special events, charity concerts, games, marathons whose aim is to raise a certain amount of money which is going to change the world. There is a real army of different organizations, foundations, societies and associations that work for the cause throughout the entire year, but are particularly active in the season of giving, around Christmas and New Year's.

It's wonderful to be a benefactor and there's no greater feeling than when we help someone, who we, in most cases, don't even know. Those warm feelings of humanity are awakened in us, the feeling that we have done something good, that we've given a small contribution to humankind.

In the sea of such organizations, one charity organization shone through, an organization which came up with unprecedented system of transparency and full financial openness towards its donors. The transparency and full accountability is reflected in each step of their work, which is documented on a monthly basis and publicly available at any time.

Bank balance is published daily, as are the names of all donors and amounts of donations. All expenditures have been documented by receipts which have been published on the web page in our monthly reports, with pictures and video clips after charity actions end.

Unbelievable! Have you ever encountered such form of openness and communication with donors? Surely you have not, and to make things even more interesting, we are talking about our own, Serbian charity organization!

A modest beginning and a strong growth of the organization

Charity organization Serbs for Serbs was founded in 2005, and it was officially registered in Belgrade in 2007.The organization was launched by educated young people, who at first set solid foundations based solely on an honest, patient and persistent work. The reason for starting up the organization was to fight against and suppress the white plague which has spread throughout the Serbian nation, and to use all the funds raised to deliver aid for multiple-child families living in poverty and under harsh conditions. Churches and monasteries are an excellent source of information about such families, because the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs regularly visits local churches and monasteries when they get out in the field.

In addition to numerous awards, the organization and its members were awarded The Order of St. Sava of second degree by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, on Vidovdan in 2015, in the Gračanica Monastery in Kosovo and Metohija.

These young people gathered around the idea to connect Serbs in homeland and those in the Diaspora, to reinforce and bring about solidarity within the Serbian nation, in order to financially and morally help endangered Serbian families.

Everyone is welcome to get involved and engage in charity work in the field, when visiting families or delivering aid. By choosing the name Serbs for Serbs, the organization's members have at the same time described its mission which is to affect on the consciousness of the Serbian nation through planned projects in order to develop and foster a better society for future generations. The aim of the organization is to help underprivileged families get on their own feet, in order to become valuable members of the society that are going to live off their own work and possibly become donors themselves to others in need. It couldn't get better!

The working principle of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs is based on the idea of home visits to the families and then, in conversation with them, identifying key family problems. In accordance with the requirements, the help is reflected in the form of acquisition of construction materials, livestock and agricultural machines, repairs and house or barn upgrade, household appliances, working materials etc. Charity organization Serbs for Serbs never provides financial aid to the families, because they consider themselves to be accountable before donors to ensure what is essential and make a thorough report about it. Such reports on each supported family can be found on our web page

Serbs for Serbs made major accomplishments helping the flood victims in 2014.They delivered over 700 household appliances, construction materials and еquipment for restoration and repair of damaged houses and other facilities in Serbia and Republic of Srpska. Since it started, the organization has raised over 1,422,000.00 Euros and has helped over 1,400 families that live in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Herzegovina, Republic of Srpska and FYR Macedonia. The help has repeatedly been delivered to health centers, hospitals, soup kitchens, secondary and primary schools and other institutions that primarily care for children's welfare.

The motto of our organization is ''Children are our future!'' The Charity organization Serbs for Serbs reach even the most remote villages in all parts of the Balkans inhabited by Serbs, while a special emphasis is placed on Kosovo and Metohia, as the cradle of Serbian Orthodoxy and culture.

Generosity of donors from around the world

Thanks to donors from around the world, today numerous families live in warm homes, children sleep in new beds, they have clean water and electricity, a bathroom, a stove, a fridge..With their generosity, donors have given them hope and built faith in the fact that someone is thinking of them, they have given them strength to stay on their fatherland and raise their offspring on their own land. During its ten-year existence, the organization has been growing strongly and it has spread to several countries. The organization has officially registered branches in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, The United States of America, Republic of Srpska, Montenegro and Canada as well as friendship clubs to the organization in Australia and The Netherlands. The strength has been built naturally, organically because , from project to project, this demonstrated trust, accountability and transparency has found its audience and like-minded people, donors from around the world.

A new branch in Canada

Since November 2015, the Canadian branch of the organization, Serbs for Serbs Canada, has been officially registered as a non-profit organization. Even prior to the registration of the branch, friends of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs from Canada held several successful charity events when they raised money to help several families: a single mother Pecirep of four from Višegrad who they helped to get a new house, a single father of the six-member Srdic family from village Amajlije near Bijeljina had his house upgraded, and similar support in the form of house upgrading was given to the Vranic family with eleven children from Belgrade, Djordjevic family with four children from village Strpce in Kosovo, Bjelanovic family with four children from Kistanje in Krajina, and a new barn was built for the Perovic family near Cacak , because the old one had completely fallen apart.

Board of Directors of the Canadian branch of the organization consists of: Angelina Racic – president, Mirjana Brkic – vice president, Lidija Borojevic- treasurer, Olga Lukic – communication and Dragana Kubura- secretary. Even though they come from almost all Serbian regions of the former Yugoslavia: Angelina and Dragana are from Sarajevo, Lidija is from Banija, while Mirjana and Olga were both born in Canada, but are from Herzegovina and Dalmatia by origin, these hard-working women have felt a sincere need to help their nation in Homeland through work and commitment in Canada.

So far, the Canadian branch of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs had two Christmas campaigns under the name 'In Time For Božić ' , as well as two friendly gatherings around pancakes under the name 'Palačinka party' in the Serbian centre in Mississauga, Ontario. The total amount raised in these actions sums up to $40,400!!! The application for a charity organization status has been sent and has been in procedure, which lasts 6 to 8 months, since November 2015, and as soon as it is approved by the Canadian authorities, the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs Canada will be able to issue certificates of donations (tax receipts).

The next action will be the organization of the traditional spring palacinka party in the Serbian center in Mississauga scheduled for May 15, right after the service. You can find all information about the Charity organization on the following web pages: please send all questions to following mail address:

Serbs from Calgary

Friends of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs from Calgary, ten families who called themselves Serbos, each pay on average $30 each month and since 2009 they have donated around $32,000 in such a manner to the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs! This type of organized monthly help is very impressive and inspiring, and the person who came up with the idea is Dragan Vujic. When Serbs come together, great things happen!

Grain by grain

When you walk around shopping malls, you can see volunteers of organizations such as Salvation Army or UNICEF, standing and trying to draw your attention with their bells. They are raising money and are surely doing it in their best intentions. The money will then be directed for the children in Africa or some other tragic destination struck by a disaster. Drawing from experience, who will help us then, if not we ourselves? Grains of sands make a mountain, and we are but a single grain. Imagine if every grain went to its mountain. Making those mountains is our duty towards our ancestors who gave lives for their national identity and language, as well as our Christian duty to preserve the same for our offspring and future generations.

Angelina Racic
Serbs for Serbs Canada

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