From 17th to the 22nd of January, I attended a work camp held in Novi Sad, Serbia. The project was organized by VCV Serbia and GAIA Kosovo. The work camp gathered 10 volunteers and representatives of SCI branches in the snowy office of VCV.
Starting from Thursday we have been discussing: connecting and understanding the flow and aims of the different SCI events + projects for 2017 focusing on the topic of the refugee crisis; the political dimension of the volunteering and the SCI work; fundraising for the cause; how to address emergency situations as a volunteering organization; local approaches and work in the field as an added value to the workcamp programs.
On Friday we went on a field trip to the north of Serbia, Vojvodina, a town of 100.000 inhabitants – Subotica, situated on the border with Hungary and one of the main spots on the transit routes of migrants and refugees. We visited few places where migrants were able to get food, clothes, products for hygiene, heat up and continue their path. We met local activists, discussed the possible cooperation and real meaning of freedom of movement and visited a project supporting the transit of migrants with the most basic and urgent facilities and support. We also had the chance to discuss the present situation around the border area and the feasibility of volunteering in such a context.
On Saturday, we focused on fundraising strategies to strengthen the work of SCI in the field and act according to the most urgent needs as well as how to address the root causes of the “refugee crisis” in a broader manner within SCI and its projects, as well as to prepare for the meeting in Catalonia, Spain, planned to happen from 10 to 15 of March.