Together we can do more

Žene migranktinje u Bujanovcu

A local action, “Together we can do more,” was organized in the cultural center "Vuk Karadžić" in Bujanovac on September 28, 2023, with women from the Bujanovac Reception Center and members of the Advocacy Group of women with experience in migration that gathers around the organization "Atina." The action aimed to promote cultural differences and enable the networking of migrant women with the local community and their full social inclusion. Those present had the opportunity to hear more about India, Syria, Iraq, and Burundi - the countries migrant women come from, why they left their countries of origin, and the cultural differences and challenges they face in the integration process in Serbia. This event was attended by representatives of the local self-government, the Center for Social Work, health institutions, the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia, and local and international organizations Indigo and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The event aimed to encourage the reduction of the social distance between domicile and migrant populations. Participants pointed out that they were pleased to have had an opportunity to hear the stories of women who experienced migration directly from them, even those who work on the ground daily.

In the next segment of the event, women staying in the Bujanovac Reception Center, together with members of the Advocacy Group and "Atina," visited local institutions and distributed the materials created within the project, as well as to the citizens who were interested in the activity. The attention of many of them was drawn not only by the group's diversity but also by the unity during the entire event. This was followed by a visit to the city library "November 14" in Bujanovac, where director Ekrem Džemali and his welcoming staff showed exceptional hospitality and showed their workspace. The guests were introduced to the books available in the reading room, which is used both by children and adults. As a sign of gratitude for the visit, the library director gifted a book titled "Tara" to symbolize the beginning of a beautiful cooperation. This was followed by a visit to the representatives of the municipality of Bujanovac, where the head of the Mayor’s office, Sali Salihi, greeted the guests and spoke about the role of local self-government in migration. The Health Center in Bujanovac was also visited, where a conversation was held with a team of doctors and nurses led by head nurse Marija Dimitrijević and head nurse for custodial care and assistance Milena Nikolić. Selflessly and with a lot of energy, they showed the entire healthcare facility to migrant women full of positive impressions, which they conveyed to everyone at the Bujanovac Reception Center.

This local action was carried out within the project "Enhancement of Girls and Women's Power to Resist Gender-Based Violence in Serbia." NGO "Atina" is implementing in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC. The project aims to ensure greater security for refugee and migrant girls and women and enable them to exercise their rights without hindrance so that they can become fully independent. The intention is also to raise further awareness of the necessity of fighting against human trafficking and gender-based violence.

Photographs from the event are available at the link:

Video about the event can be seen here: