Mother and Baby Corner – help for refugees in Serbia

Terre des hommes and the Novi Sad Humanitarian Center have set up facilities in Belgrade for refugee mothers and their children. Families can go there to receive the help they need in emergencies, to ask questions about hygiene, or to recover from the stress of their migration journey in a safe environment. This important initiative is partially funded by the donations from TEXAID.

TEXAID and Terre des hommes
TEXAID has supported the projects implemented by Terre des hommes for many years. A large number of old clothing containers throughout Switzerland collect clothes for the children’s charity, and are labelled with the corresponding logo. By selling old clothes, TEXAID generates financial resources that it pays to Terre des hommes and six other participating charities. The Swiss children’s charity is committed to the long-term improvement of the living conditions of millions of vulnerable children and their families. The Mother and Baby Corner in Belgrade is one of the projects supported by this funding.

Project background
Thousands of mothers and children fleeing crisis regions in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq find themselves stranded in Serbia. 5,948 refugees were recorded in Serbia at the end of June 2017. Around 56 percent of the refugees and migrants registered in Serbia in June 2017 were children. The Serbian capital Belgrade is the central junction for many migrants. There are two refugee centres in the city. Many families with children are completely exhausted on arriving in Belgrade. They have experienced difficult journeys without enough to eat and drink, and have endured long treks on foot. The number of refugees exceeds the capacity of the centres to house them, resulting in conflicts and violent altercations between refugees. Illness spreads quickly as the hygiene conditions are sometimes critical.

Help for refugee mothers and children
The refugee aid organisation Miksaliste, which is located in the centre of Belgrade, offers mothers and children the help they need. It incorporates the Terre des hommes Mother and Baby Corner, an area covering 16 square metres that has been open to refugees seven days a week since 2016. They are the only facilities of their kind in Belgrade to look after the weakest members of the migrant population. Babies, toddlers, young mothers and pregnant women are given protection, help in emergencies, and information on health and hygiene issues, as well as advice on their rights as refugees.

Further information about the Terre des hommes project can be found here.

August 2017