Caritas of the Archdiocese of Belgrade
Caritas of the Archdiocese of Belgrade was established in 1989 as a humanitarian organization of the Catholic Church in order to assist threatened groups in central Serbia. In addition to supporting state institutions that care for the sick and the elderly, target user group consists of both internally displaced people and numerous refugees from republics of former Yugoslavia that have found their safe haven in central Serbia.
As similar charitable organizations founded with the blessing of the Catholic Church, Caritas of the Archdiocese of Belgrade is always guided by the principle of human needs rather than national or religious affiliation when it distributes aid and implements projects supporting vulnerable groups.
Caritas of the Archdiocese of Belgrade is a part of Caritas Serbia and Montenegro and a member of Caritas Europe and Caritas Internacionalis via Caritas Serbia.
Caritas of Belgrade Archdiocese implements projects in central Serbia, but with an emphasis on several towns where the following local (parish) Caritas organizations are active: Caritas Šabac, Caritas Valjevo, Caritas Aleksinac, Caritas Niš, Caritas Belgrade (Center SPES).
Services that are included in programs implemented by Caritas of Belgrade Archdiocese are numerous: varied kinds of support through listening, advice and assistance in accessing state social institutions and health care institutions; supporting living care for the elderly, the sick and disabled people; procurement of documents for local marginalized groups and assistance in exercising their rights in state institutions and facilities; free medical examinations for Romani and other people without health insurance card; distribution of clothes and humanitarian aid; bathing and services of dermatological checkups; laundry service; education of young people through learning foreign languages and a training to become computer literate; village revitalization through the distribution of domestic animals etc.
Caritas is especially reliant on volunteers in its work, who significantly contribute to the development and realization of a large number of services for people in need.
Caritas is actively working on developing their own capacities through continuous training and education of the existing staff. In this way, the quality and quantity of services that Caritas provides is continuously improved.
Its plans are to increase the number of services for end users by increasing the number of programs that are implemented and recruitment and training of volunteers. Despite the tendency of funding the programs by foreign donors in the past, Caritas of the Archdiocese of Belgrade sees its future through financing and close cooperation with state institutions of social protection and health care, local institutions and similar non-governmental organizations.