The Red Cross of Serbia was founded in 1876 and today it consists of 183 municipal branches as well as two provincial branches and the National Society of the Red Cross of Serbia as the umbrella organisation. The work of the National Society is done by 800 employees, 10,000 volunteers active at any given time and 60,000 members/ volunteers involved with various activities based on their time and preferences.
The mission of the National Society of the Red Cross of Serbia is to alleviate human suffering with the task of providing help to the vulnerable at times of armed conflict, natural disasters, ecological disasters and other emergencies, saving vulnerable lives and health of people, disseminating the knowledge of the international humanitarian law, working on the prevention and education of citizens in the health and social welfare sector, promoting humanitarian values of the society and, in the state of need, providing social protection and assistance.
Provision of services to older people has been part of the Red Cross portfolio for several decades but has entered a more structured era in 2001 with initiation of a Home Care programme. This community-based service provision initiative has been developed over the next decade and a half to involve more advocacy and social inclusion elements. Currently the Red Cross of Serbia implements the Home Care activities in 54 Serbian municipalities covering 6200 beneficiaries through work of 962 trained volunteers. At the same time, the Red Cross of Serbia coordinates and supports the work of self-help groups in 35 Serbian municipalities whose members – 1052 older persons at the moment – work on identifying relevant issues in their communities as well as the appropriate and achievable means of addressing these issues at community level.
In 2016 the Red Cross of Serbia has also started coordinating a regional project Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older Persons, supported by EU through its IPA fund as well as the Austrian Development Agency through Austrian Red Cross. Covering five countries of Western Balkans and spanning the next three years the project relies and builds on the experiences of the previous IPA-supported Red Cross of Serbia project: Improving Access to Human Rights of Older People in Serbia, expanding the scope to synergise the experiences of several countries undergoing EU accession process and improve social inclusion of older people through work on nationwide issues such as the image of older people as presented by the media but also through work at community level by providing support to grassroots initiatives of older people. Additionally, recognising the notable lack of reliable and systematic data on older people the Red Cross has implemented seven major research studies exploring the topics such as elder abuse, financial abuse of older people, older people in rural areas etc. with plans to continue doing so. The Red Cross of Serbia is also a partner of HelpAge International and contributes to its initiatives and campaigns such as Age Demands Action and Global AgeWatch Index and is the implementing partner to UNFPA in its activities targeting older people in Serbia.
The Red Cross of Serbia contact details:
c/o Nataša Todorović
+381 11 2622 121
Website of the network of civil society organisations advocating with and on behalf of older people HumanaS: