Supporting Refugees and Migrants
The number of migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Serbia has risen sharply since 2015. These nations are part of the Balkan Route to reach Europe. Most people are from the Middle East, Asia and North Africa. They are fleeing violence or searching for economic opportunities.
Our programs in Belgrade reach thousands of refugees and migrants each year. They include information and referrals to other service providers; spaces to charge phones and use the internet; translation help; access to education and classes; and events for women and girls.
As Bosnia saw a spike in new arrivals in 2018, we expanded our work to help here, too. Now, we work near the Croatian border to provide classes, legal support and supplies. We focus on protecting unaccompanied and separated children as well as young adults under 21.
In both nations, we are working to realize our vision of a world where everyone has a safe place to call home.
In the Midst of a Long Journey, a Moment for Inspiration
Note: This story was written in September 2020. On September 30, the Bosnian government closed the Bira reception center. CWS now works in Lipa, a new refugee and migrant center about 12 miles from Bihac. Ghulam left Bira days before the center closed. Ghulam has been moving for as long as he can remember. He was born in Afghanistan. When …
When Creativity Leads to Community
Note: This story was written in September 2020. On September 30, the Bosnian government closed the Bira reception center. Residents, including Kalash, were transferred to another center called Lipa (where CWS now works). Within a few days of his move to Lipa, Kalash left, presumably to continue his journey. Growing up in Pakistan, Kalash and his family were close. It …
Finding an unexpected love of art
“Shiraz [Iran] is my city. I was born there, and I grew up there. When I would leave Shiraz, I always knew I would come back to my city. But today I’m not sure I will ever see Shiraz again,” says Mehrdad Azizi. Mehrdad comes from a family of five children. “When I was 12 years old, my father left …