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30th NEWSLETTER  ON SOCIAL INCLUSION AND POVERTY REDUCTION

INTRODUCTION

NATAŠA TODOROVIĆ: Global AgeWatch Index

The Global AgeWatch Index uses the latest comparative data available in the international context [...]. This data was chosen because it is available for a large number of countries, so even though in some cases it may not be the most precise, it provides for a better view of the quality of life and welfare of the elderly worldwide.

The Global AgeWatch Index was structured to display the multidimensional nature of the quality of life of elderly persons and contains four dimensions: income security, health status, positive personal capacities, as well as positive elements of the environment [...].

Serbia placed 66th this year – certainly better than last year, when it was 78th, but somewhat worse than 2013, when it held 64th place.

Although the index represents a kind of a ranking showing which countries have created and applied the best aging-related policies, and which were less successful, this is certainly not the main goal of this instrument, nor should it be seen as such. It represents a tool and a type of guide for decision makers in seeking out the most adequate responses, measures and services to resolve demographic aging. The index does not show what are the best or worst places to grow old in, but represents a tool that should encourage countries to best tackle the challenges of demographic aging. Note that it is not about competing, but learning. The index provides for resource savings and the option of learning from others and taking and adapting other successful models into one’s own context.

[...] In this case, if we want to do a comparison or learn from certain countries, the question is not why Switzerland is number one, and Serbia number 66, the question is why Slovenia is 26th, and Serbia 66th. What did Slovenia do better in regards to creating aging policies, because, as we know, we have the same history of social and healthcare protection.

Read the entire text on the Social Inclusion Blog.

NEWS

ACTIVITIES OF THE SOCIAL INCLUSION UNIT

 

Publication “Poverty in Serbia in 2014” Published

The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit released a publication entitled “Poverty in Serbia in 2014”. Publication is a result of cooperation between Statistical Office of Republic of Serbia, Center for Liberal Democratic Studies and Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit.

This analysis offers a detailed overview of the profiles of the poor and into trends of (in)equality in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with an emphasis on the main factors of risk of poverty.

Click here to download the publication “Poverty in Serbia 2014”:


Conference “Development of Entrepreneurial Learning in Serbia” Held

The conference “Development of Entrepreneurial Learning in Serbia” was held on 27 August 2015 at the Deputy’s Club in Belgrade, organized by the British Council, Embassy of UK in Belgrade and the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.

The goal of the conference was introducing its participants to successful models of entrepreneurial learning in Serbia, the United Kingdom and the region. Likewise, a survey was presented on entrepreneurial leaning in Serbia, existing models and effects, lessons learned, as well as good practice examples from the region. The presentations used by the speakers can be found here.
 


Announcing New Ignite Event on Social Inclusion!

It is our great pleasure to invite you to a new Belgrade Ignite on Social Inclusion to be held on 29 October at 7 PM at the Belgrade Impact Hub, organized by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit and the CA “Serbia in Motion”.

Ten presenters will present their struggles and successes with social inclusion: we will talk about empowering kids from marginalized groups through music; the success of daring young people deciding to build their careers in entrepreneurial waters; the daily struggle of HIV/AIDS patients; the challenges for Roma building their home independently; active aging and lifelong learning, support to refugees and migrants, the challenges faced by persons with disabilities and LGBT persons in Serbia.
 


“Secondary Analyses of Data Obtained Through SILC Survey” Under Way

The research “Secondary Analyses of Data Obtained through the Survey on Income and Living Conditions – SILC” published by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the United Nations Development Program is under way.

The intent of this programme is to motivate and support researchers starting their careers to analyse hitherto unresearched social phenomena, using the latest data and reflecting on it in new contexts. Likewise, the goal of the research is a deeper understanding of factors impacting poverty, social exclusion, material deprivation, risk of poverty, inequality, access to labour market, and other aspects of importance for the quality of life of individuals and families in the Republic of Serbia.
 


Start of Project “Elderly in Remote Villages”

As part of the programme “Local Initiatives to Increase Social Inclusion and Reduce Poverty” coordinated by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and cooperation, the project “Elderly in Remote Villages” is being implemented in the municipality of Babušnica.

The project is aimed at improving the process of social inclusion and poverty reduction in the municipality of Babušnica by providing the availability of community services, aiming to improve the quality of life of the elderly in remote mountain villages, prevent institutionalization and increase support for the natural family.

The project is implemented by the association of citizens “Lužničke rukotvorine – Ž.E.C.” in partnership with the Municipality of Babušnica.


Implementation of Project “Our Children” Started


The project “Our Children” is being implemented within the wider programme “Local Initiatives to Increase Social Inclusion and Reduce Poverty” coordinated by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Project activities were planned in accordance with the Second National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in the Republic of Serbia for 2011-2014, aiming to achieve the priorities in the filed of preschool, primary and secondary education.

The project “Our Children” is implemented by the Centre for Working with Children, Youth and Family “Vrdničak”, in partnership with the Municipality of Irig.
 

Public Discussion Completed on Final Draft Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP)


The Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP) is currently in the procedure and its adoption by the Government of the Republic of Serbia is expected as soon as possible.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia, invited by the European Commission, drafted the Employment and Social Reform Programme (ESRP). The entire drafting process was open and partners were consulted and invited several times to actively partake in the drafting of this document through various consultation mechanisms. Thus the last public discussion of the final draft document ended in early September, with great response and quality comments, mostly included in the final version of ESRP.

READ MORE...

Results of Survey on Use of ICT in Serbia Published
Catalogue of Electronic Services of City of Belgrade Presented
Office for Cooperation with Civil Society Develops Interactive Web Portal - OCDoscope
Families from “Rasadnik” Collective Centre in Vranje Receive New Houses with EU Aid
Serbia 47th among 102 Countries in Budget Openness
First Report on Inclusive Growth by World Economic Forum
Culture Sub-Programme of Creative Europe “Support to European Cooperation Projects”
9th Competition for VIRTUS Awards – Awards for Those Who Care (Deadline: 22/10/2015)
Call for Annual Award for Corporate Volunteering (Deadline: 20/10/2015)
Swiss Assistance for Care of Migrants
Results of Survey on Contribution of Companies to Society Published
You may follow the news on social inclusion and poverty reduction regularly at: http://socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/en/

SOCIAL INCLUSION BLOG

DRAŽEN ZACERO: Who is a Hero?

A small group of people living with HIV in Serbia are heroically fighting for a decent life. Not because of the virus, because it is no longer a deadly disease, but a chronic health condition that could lead to severe health problems if therapy is not taken regularly. They are heroically fighting to be part of society and be users of healthcare protection like all other chronic patients.

According to data from the Public Health Institute of Serbia, there are 3098 persons infected with HIV registered in Serbia. According to available data, an HIV infection epidemic was registered in the Republic of Serbia in late November 2014. Among the 95 newly discovered persons infected with HIV, 54 persons (57%) are from Belgrade, 14 (15%) from Vojvodina, and a quarter are from other districts in Central Serbia (27 persons). Most of the newly discovered HIV positive persons are 20-49 years of age (85 persons, i.e. 89.5%), with one in three persons being young, aged 20-29 (30 persons, or 32%). Of particular concern is that over 70% of the persons living with HIV/AIDS in Serbia are living under the poverty line. However, only 3% have submitted requests for financial support by the state, despite meeting the conditions, because of the stigma and lack of support in local communities, as well as lack of legal assistance (…)

The AS centre for empowerment of youth living with HIV/AIDS deals with services of psychosocial assistance and support with medical assistance comprised of procurement of medicines, peer counselling, groups for self-help, individual online counselling as well as counselling in the offices with privacy and confidentiality. The delivery of medicines to beneficiaries unable to pick them up themselves is also envisaged, along with house calls, counselling in the field: on the street, in parks, parties, treatment clinics, and the counsellors in the field also do referrals to contacts and offices of the AS centre in order to reach the highest possible number of beneficiaries needing assistance that would not have learned about the service any other way. (…)

The campaign “Who is a Hero?” financed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and implemented by the AS Centre is currently under way. It is an association founded by people who live with HIV, know great jokes, are excellent dancers, are cheerful, good people, helping their friends and neighbours. Help them by not making them feel as if they live in a balloon because no one may touch them. The idea of the campaign is to promote the inclusion of persons living with HIV/AIDS through reducing the stigma by way of promotional activities in the community and educational workshops for youth.

(...)

The text in its entirety can be found on the Social Inclusion Blog.

Other texts by our bloggers can be found at: http://www.socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs/blog/

SUCCESS STORY

In Pirot Help for Elderly Arrives on Bicycle

For the past two and a half years Aleksa Živković has been using his bike to help senior citizens older than 70, pay their bills, buy groceries and medicine, and make their doctor’s appointments. Soon, when the construction of the rickshaw is done, he and his fellow volunteer will be able to take them to their doctor’s appointments as well.

He came to this idea of helping the elderly spontaneously, by surfing the Internet and becoming familiar with courier services. However, what was crucial was his desire to do something nice and at the same time useful, get away from his computer and just be active. Today this young man is known throughout Pirot as “Potrčko” meaning errand boy. The help he provides for the elderly by paying their bills, doing their grocery shopping and bringing their medicine from the pharmacy, not only made him famous in town but it also earned him numerous awards and recognitions. One of those recognitions is being one of the “Ten exceptional young people in Serbia for 2015”.

In the meantime, he registered his civil society organization “Leka” whose mission is to inspire young people to help seniors and make their everyday life easier.

“Unofficially, I started working in November 2012. I invited my Facebook friends to tell their grandparents that I would do their errands and that they could pay me whatever they want or can. In the beginning, they were not very interested”, this resourceful and hardworking young man from Pirot recalls all the difficulties he had in the beginning. Despite the offers he had to leave his country, this ex-handball player decided to stay.

A few months later, with the “Youth for the elderly” project the usefulness of his endeavour was finally recognized and he started collaborating with the Red Cross and the town hall. Delivery for the elderly became free of charge. In the first year Aleksa recorded about 120 deliveries for five of his grey-haired fellow citizens. Besides him, two other volunteers completed the errands the elderly could not do for themselves. The following year number of services increased to 313, and the number of users to 9.

At the moment, Aleksa is preparing for the next phase of his project. With three of his colleges – a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer and an energetics engineer – he is working on constructing a rickshaw.

“It would have to be driven by two volunteers and it would be used to transport the programme users to their specialist examinations. We are building it thanks to the prize and donation from the “Social Impact Award” programme and we hope it will be up and running before the winter comes”, Aleksa explains.

Some of the awards and recognitions he received for his endeavours are: “Young hero” from the “Exit” foundation, “Original idea in youth entrepreneurship”, “Local hero” for the Coca-Cola “Share the good” campaign, “Accomplishment of the year for 2014” from radio “Plus” and many more.

(...)

The text in its entirety can be found here.

More success stories can be found at socijalnoukljucivanje.gov.rs
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Government of the Republic of Serbia
Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit
Vlajkovićeva 10,11070 Beograd, Srbija

E-mail sipru@gov.rs
Phone +381 11 311 4605, +381 11 311 4798, +381 11 213 7915