For Immediate Release
Serbian civil society organizations were among the first-responders to help fellow citizens in the wake of the devastating floods in the country. Working tirelessly around the clock, civil society organizations mobilized citizen donations, recruited volunteers, organized logistics for storage and delivery of goods, and ensured safe distribution to those in need. Some of the leading organizations in the relief effort are USAID's long-term partners and currently supported via the Civil Society Forward program, which works to develop the professionalism and capacity of these local organizations to meet citizens' needs.
Civic Initiatives and Dokukino, both local organizations that receive USAID support, combined forces to develop the online platform "Citizens United for Serbia" (http://www.udruzeni.org) that provides real time updates on the flooding, identifies concrete needs of citizens in the affect areas, and helps direct those wanting to donate to send their material and financial resources to where they are most needed. This platform has become one of the most relied upon communication tools during the crisis.
Trag Foundation, USAID's long-term partner, quickly mobilized grass root organizations in mitigating the flood damage and used their social networks to gain large amounts of online donations (https://www.facebook.com/TRAGfondacija). They continue to work with their local and regional partners in the flooded towns and villages in order to ensure that these donations reach the most in need.
Catalyst Foundation analyzed all social media, international declarations of commitments, as well as information compiled from civil society organizations to develop the first infographic on flood-related philanthropy in Serbia. The infographic continues to be updated on a regular basis as more information becomes available (https://www.facebook.com/CatalystBalkans. It has become an important analytic tool for understanding where the gaps in assistance are and ensuring for more transparency in the process.
The Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation is collecting emergency goods and is soliciting donations via its social campaign "Da svi pomognemo" (http://www.fondacijadivac.org/HOD---Fondacija-Ana-i-Vlade-Divac/542/Da-svi-pomognemo.shtml. The Foundation also announced plans to help in the reconstruction of homes in the longer-term clean-up once the flooding recedes.
SMART Kolektiv together with its member companies in the Business Leaders Forum – Coca Cola Hellenic, Telecom Banca Intesa Atlantic Group, Vip Mobile and Victoria group - provided large-scale donations both in financial and in-kind.
The National Coalition for Decentralization together with Nis-based civil society organizations worked hard to mobilize citizens to help their fellow-citizens in flooded areas with basic emergency items.
Through this tragedy, civil society organizations have proved themselves to be extremely active and committed in uniting citizens to solve their country's problem. USAID's heavy investments throughout the years in this sector have been valuable as seen in this swift and heartfelt community response.
Last updated: September 12, 2014