Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Republic of Serbia looks after and takes care of children

Today, Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin attended the handover ceremony of school equipment donated by the US Embassy in the framework of the project "Support to the Serbian educational system in response to the refugee crisis" at the Primary School "Branko Pešić" in Zemun.
The donation handover ceremony was also attended by Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Zoran Đorđević, US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott, Director of UNICEF Office in Serbia Michel Saint-Lot, Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development for Pre-School and Primary Education Vesna Nedeljković, Refugee Commissioner Vladimir Cucić, and Director of the Elementary School "Branko Pešić" Nenad Ćirić.
In the framework of the said project implemented by the Danish Refugee Council, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia and UNICEF, two smart boards, two projectors and six laptops were donated. In addition, 130 children of refugees and local children enrolled in the school "Branko Pešić" received school bags.
Minister Vulin emphasized that there are fewer than 4,000 migrants in the territory of the Republic of Serbia and most of them are taken care of in our system, all are medically taken care of, fed, accomodated in civilized conditions, they are taken care of just as their children are taken care of.
- In our educational system, around 400 children of migrants learn to write, to count, learn to live here in Serbia, although most of their parents did not apply for asylum, we nevertheless allowed children, as they stay in our area, on our territory, that they can learn and prepare for future life. All these children are medically taken care of, vaccinated, and healthy. They are taken care of just as our children are taken care of. The Government of the Republic of Serbia will continue to act responsibly towards migrants, just as it will continue to behave responsibly towards the citizens of Serbia, our law, our territory, Minister Vulin said.
He added that the state will take care of the health and well-being of all people who are in the territory of the Republic of Serbia, regardless of whether they are our citizens or they have come from somewhere.
- This is the only way to guard and care for our children, just as we guard and care for migrant children. That is how we have worked so far, this is how we will continue to work. I thank all those who have helped us all these years, supported us and have been with us, without whom none of this would be possible, the Minister of Defence and the Chairman of the Working Group for Solving the Problem of Mixed Migration Flows said.
Minister Đorđević also thanked everyone who did a lot for schoolchildren and said that the Government of Serbia will continue to do so in the future. - And to you, children, I urge you to enjoy life, because life is ahead of you, Minister Đorđević said.
According to Ambassador Scott, in this country, it has been recognised for decades that the school is the most important part of the integration of migrants in Serbia.
- By means of education they pass the integration process. School is the most important and the first step for these children. They passed hard times, left their homeland, travelled far, reached Serbia, which for most families was not the final destination. We are grateful to Serbia for its hospitality that it has always shown to migrants, but also to the Government of Serbia for the step that enabled these children to attend school. As a result, many will probably decide to stay in Serbia, Ambassador Scott said.
The Refugee Commissioner said that he is very happy that Serbia has such children and expressed the hope that at least some of them would like to stay in our country. He added that school and primary education represent a good and significant part of life, and that all children should remember that age - both professors and schoolmates from the school benches, but also Serbia.
Primary school "Branko Pešić" is the school that has registered the largest number of refugee children in the school year 2015/2016. In particular, 70 refugee children attended classes, and in the school year 2017/2018, 47 refugee/migrant children were registered, mostly unaccompanied children.