On Monday 3 September 2018, the Red Cross of Serbia representatives visited organisation Luznicke rukotvorine ZEC in Babusnica for a monitoring visit within the framework of “Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older People” project (TASIOP). This organisation has over the past ten months implemented a microproject “Let us be visible” as part of the TASIOP project and with the Red Cross of Serbia support, aimed at improving social inclusion of older women in rural areas.

During the visit the Red Cross of Serbia representatives visited several older persons living in single households in villages around Babusnica and witnessed the challenges of increasing their social inclusion. These are settlements far from the roads that can be reached only via an off-road vehicle and then on foot. Many houses in these villages are abandoned and most of those remaining are women. Access to services of social and healthcare is difficult as are different ways of participating in the life of local community.

In their microproject organisation Luznicke rukotvorine ZEC worked with these older women, organised gatherings, workshops and educations on prevention of elder abuse. An especially important activity was collecting traditional and forgotten recipes that they still use for preparation of meals. These are collected in a cookbook “Luznicki recepisi” where each of the women is signed after the recipe she had provided and this is how they are being motivated for more intense participation in the life of the community. This reinforces their awareness that through the cookbook they contribute to their communities as well to the preservation of the cultural heritage of their area.

The “Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older People” project is implemented with support provided by European Union, Austrian Development Agency and Austrian Red Cross, and coordinated in five countries of the Western Balkans region by the Red Cross of Serbia.