Serbian Diaspora Donated 4.25 million US Dollars for Social Causes in Serbia in 2020

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Serbian Diaspora Donated 4.25 million US Dollars  for Social Causes in Serbia in 2020
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Ana i Vlade Divac Foundation

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Belgrade, March 2, 2021 – During 2020, a total of $4.25 million USD were donated to Serbia by the Serbian diaspora. Almost 46 percent of those donations, or $1.95 million USD, were dedicated to COVID-19 related projects and initiatives, while 54 percent, or $2.3 million USD, were dedicated to other causes, mainly poverty relief and medical treatments. These are the latest findings of an analysis conducted by Catalyst Balkans that were presented today at the panel discussion “Philanthropy without borders”, organized by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“We started our humanitarian work and sending help to Serbia while we were in diaspora. Today, when we have our base organization in Serbia, we have large support from our people in diaspora,” said Vlade Divac, famous NBA basketball player and founder of Foundation Ana and Vlade Divac said.

The first day of the panel discussion “Philanthropy without borders” gathered more than 130 participants from Serbia, the United States, Austria, Holland, Finland, France, Canada, Great Britain, and Bosnia and Hercegovina. Participants discussed the involvement and cooperation between civil society organizations from Serbia and the Serbian diaspora during crisis situations, material or financial donations and involvement in terms of providing expertise, cultural exchange, etc.

“Through our activities and partnerships like these, we are trying to create the same opportunities for a good future here in Serbia that so many of you went abroad to seek,” said Shanley Pinchotti, Director of the Office of Democratic Governance and Economic Growth, USAID Serbia.

Most financial donations during 2020 came from Serbs who live in Germany, almost 40 percent, Canada 24 percent, and the United States 19 percent. Thanks to diaspora’s donations, significant amounts were invested in hospitals throughout the country, especially in Tutin, Kragujevac, Kruševac, Novi Pazar, Prijepolje, and Valjevo.

“Why does a member of the diaspora wish to help its fellow citizens? Because philanthropy has no borders. When you are far away from your home country the feeling of belonging becomes stronger. In a globalized world, without borders, the feeling of belonging safeguards ones identity but is also a force that triggers solidarity,” said  Arnaud Guillon, Acting Director of the Directorate for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region.

Ana Divac, founder of the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, thanked all members of the Serbian diaspora for such generous contributions despite the fact that this crisis was global and affected everyone, including members of the Serbian diaspora and their families. She also stated that Serbian diaspora has a history of providing significant assistance to support social causes in Serbia, especially during crisis situations, and that was evident in the past during the floods in 2014 for example.

The significance of good cooperation between organizations in Serbia and diaspora was emphasized also by John Jovanović, Senior Advisor, Concordia, our famous violin player Stefan Milenković, Nenad Paunović, Director of the IT and Entrepreneurship team in the Office of the Prime Minister of Serbia and many others.

This was the third panel discussion “Philanthropy without Borders”, organized within a project Framework for Giving, funded by USAID and implemented by the Coalition for Giving led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation.  Other Coalition members include the Trag, Catalyst Balkans, SMART Kolektiv, the Serbian Philanthropy Forum, the Responsible Business Forum, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Last updated: March 05, 2021

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