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Happiness is not for sale
Many girls who are forced to get married, just like Anita, spend their lives deprived of their rights, dependent on their husbands and their families. They are deprived of their basic rights to health, education and security...

The first touch is crucial
Little Elena Stojic was in a hurry to get to know the world. She was born in the maternity ward in Kragujevac at 29 weeks, two months early...

School is a chance, school is the right way
When I was in seventh grade, I didn’t go to school for 6 months. We had financial problems and had to go to Germany. It didn’t work out for us there, so we returned. I wanted to go to school again, but I had a big problem...

Mother and baby corners for healthier and happier babies
Nabila, who is twenty-five, came to Serbia in late 2016, after travelling for two years from Afghanistan. She arrived in the Presevo Refugee and Migrant Reception Centre, arm in arm with her husband and two children...

A Fairy tale for a Happier Childhood
Mariam, a twelve-year-old girl from Afghanistan, is walking excitedly behind the stage of the Kikinda theatre. She is quietly going over her lines. The play, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is about to begin in 20 minutes and her role is...

Freedom, safety and trust in the Women’s Centre
Seventeen-year-old Soria confidently threads the sewing machine. It’s as if she has been doing it for years, and not just for several months, which is how long she has been coming to the ADRA Women’s Centre in Borca...

Roma health mediators – empowering communities
Five years ago, Roma health mediator Aleksandra Paunovic entered the home of the six-member Roma family Krasnici. The parents, Nadjija and Naser, expected help from her, and it soon became clear to the children that they would grow to love her...

Hope for every pupil
Seventeen-year-old Klaudija, from the village of Debeljača outside of Kovačica, is one term away from obtaining a hairdresser's diploma from the Pančevo Technical School...

Everyone is a winner
Fazar, who is ten, and Nazir, who is a year older, are waiting impatiently for their game to start. They are looking at the clock and counting the last minutes of the game that is happening on the field...

The Only Certainty is Uncertainty
Ten-year-old Aleksa and four-year-old Veljko Jovanovic are brothers. They live on the outskirts of Belgrade, in Krnjaca, with their mom, dad, and grandparents. In 2015, both boys were diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type 3...

Ready for the winter and snow
Aya Rekani is eight years old. She is wearing a French braid which suits her beautifully. Aya’s family – her parents and five siblings – is her greatest blessing.

The most beautiful job in the world
Ivanka Djordjevic is an experienced visiting nurse, who has just finished her visit to the Jovanovic family in Pirot, Serbia. Tea, a two-and-a-half-year-old girl nestled in her mother's arms, is saying goodbye to Ivanka...

A Hope for the Future: Taking Knowledge Home to Benefit Afghanistan
Fifteen-year-old Hazrat Mohamad is one of the many boys sitting in front of a computer in the ICT corner in the Reception Centre for Refugees and Migrants in Obrenovac, Serbia.

Helping a family is help for the future
Twelve-year-old Selma and ten-year-old Enver Itaj could hardly wait for the start of the school year. They still do not have all their notebooks and school supplies, but their textbooks and friends are waiting for them in school.

This feels like my home now
Ten year old Sana has two brothers, a father and mother who love her very much. She is their firstborn. She is bright and shy...

A smile that was a long time coming
Aca Cvetkovic is nine years old. He lives in a Roma settlement in Belgrade, where many families live in small dilapidated houses. Some houses collapse on their own, like the house of Aca's neighbour...

10 Years On: A Lasting Donation
Five-month-old Natalija, wearing a pink shirt, is resting peacefully in her mother's arms. Natalija’s joyful eyes, full of confidence, are watching her mom Jelena, who brought her for her regular vaccination...

Justice for children
In cases of violations of child rights in the areas of education, healthcare and social welfare, UNICEF has ensured the provision of free legal aid. This has been done through the Strengthening the Justice and Social Welfare Systems to...

Divorce and the Voice of the Child
“Divorce is traumatic for all of us, particularly for the children, because they have to choose whether they will live with their mom or dad. My ex-husband insists that the children testify in court as to who they wish to live with after the divorce...

Atila – the boy who changed his community
Atila Komaromi was born in spring 1999 with severely damaged limbs. His parents were told that his life was at stake. They left him in “Kolevka” a residential institution for children with disabilities, in the town of Subotica, where he...

Everyone has the right to dream
Shabnam Arab, a thirteen-year-old girl from Afghanistan is slowly conjugating a verb, in what, until recently, used to be a completely foreign and incomprehensible language...

The best start
"Nothing in life should be taken for granted and left to chance. One should respond to minimal changes. There are professional services that have answers to all our questions and we should talk about all problems."

A Toy Library: A Library of Smiles
Abir, a refugee from Syria, is combing her daughter’s hair after lunch. It’s a small tradition they've had since arriving in the Reception center in Bujanovac, in Serbia. The older daughter, eight-year-old Judy, graciously allows seven-year old Sidra ...

Roma Health Mediators: Connecting Communities
Kristina Petrovic is 21 years old and she has two children. A great joy, but also a great concern. She is struggling, as a single mother, to adequately provide for her three-year old daughter Lejla and her son Dragoljub, who is only 11 months old.

Every time you protect a child, there is hope
Svetlana Marojevic’s life was marked by UNICEF. As a girl growing up after the World War 2, Svetlana clearly recalls the cedar wooden crates, with UNICEF’s well-known logo engraved on them.

Every time you stop violence, there is hope
Katarina Ristanovic is an ordinary thirteen-year-old girl with an unusual, almost movie-like story. While still in the lower grades of primary school, she experienced bullying by her peers.

Every time you help a child, there is hope
Sara Lukic was only eight years old when her town was hit by unprecedented floods. Almost the entire town of Obrenovac, where she lives, was under water, and in some places it reached five meters in height. It was a terrible shock and Sara still...

Every time you protect the health of a child, there is hope
Vida Parezanovic was born before the Second World, and as a child went through all its horrors. Having seen death, suffering and diseases that the war brought, she decided to become a doctor. She decided to focus her work on decreasing child mortality...

From school dropout to peer leader
“Three years ago I dropped out of school. I had enrolled in the first year of the Technical School, and everything was great, my friends and everything, but I had some problems and couldn’t continue my education. I am a musician and I am helping...

No fear of snow
In the town of Sjenica, in southwestern Serbia, the cold weather is arriving quickly. The temperature during the night already falls to zero degrees Celsius, and snow is expected any day. That's when the temperature can go to below -10 degrees Celsius.

Kindergartens without Borders – Where Communities Gather
“I get up, brush my teeth, get dressed, and I’m off to kindergarten.” This is how Dejana Ametovic, a bright-eyed six-year-old girl with a warm, inquisitive look on her face describes her weekday routine. Sometimes she wakes up too early, eager to join...

In Serbia, building confidence through music
Until recently, enroling in school had been a challenge for Petra. The local school in her hometown refused to accept her, and she and her father were forced to relocate closer to a school for children with disabilities. It was only by chance that she...

Zahra in the mirror
She has journeyed several thousand kilometres and spent months in refugee camps in Turkey and Greece. Now she is counting her last days in a makeshift refugee camp on the Serbian-Hungarian border. If she and her family are lucky, in a few days...

The long road to safety in Serbia
Bahir is one of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who have crossed the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of 2015 to seek safety and protection in Europe. Today, he's living with the Petrovics, a foster family in Serbia, while he waits...

Second Chance Directs Uros Towards a Brighter Future
Uros Savkovic is locked in a one-on-one duel with Ivan Djordjevic. They duck, dodge and feint around the concrete basketball court, battling for possession. At 18, Uros has youth on his side. But Ivan has the benefit of experience, and...

Stranded in Serbia, children find creative joy
The children around the table fell silent, fixing their attention on their friend. “I enjoy planting flowers. It reminds me of my grandmother,” 12-year old Siba was saying. “It’s what we used to do together, but she’s still in Syria. I miss her.”

Helping refugees and migrants weather the Balkan winter
As temperatures drop and families continue to arrive in Europe in search of safety and a better life, UNICEF and its partners are working urgently to provide support to the youngest travellers. Chartered buses lined up at the Sid railway station unload...

Muhamed Reaching his Goal Thanks to Model Programme
“I want to join the police force,” says Muhamed Jeseti. The 18-year-old from Kraljevo in southern Serbia certainly looks a prime candidate, with a muscular build seemingly made for maintaining public order (“I work out a little in the gym,” he shrugs).

Protection of children in legal proceedings
He was a victim of violence in his own family. Today he lives in a home for children where he has found peace and security...

Flexible foster care for children with disabilities
Lazar and his brother Stefan are growing up in a family environment thanks to the dedication of their mother Violeta...

Boset’s story: One child’s journey of survival and hope
Belgrade, Serbia, September 2015 - When he woke up that morning, six-year old Boset did what he had been doing for the previous few weeks. He came out of the tent, stretched and sought a place where he could be alone with his thoughts.

Reaching Out to Families in Need
The idea is to identify families in need of assistance – then send the outreach workers to collaborate with their clients to create a tailor-made support programme. Prevention and early intervention are the keys to success in keeping families together...

Kindergartens without Borders for the Best Start in Life
UNICEF is supporting the Kindergartens without Borders project, in cooperation with Serbia's government, academic institutions, municipalities and NGO partners, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It is opening up places for children...

Outreach Workers Help Families Cope with Crisis
UNICEF has been working with the Centre for Protection of Infants, Children and Youth and the City of Belgrade's Centre for Social Work to set up a network of Family Outreach Workers - who can provide timely, tailor-made assistance at times of crisis ...

Insufficient investment in geographically remote schools
BARE, Serbia, 26 February 2015 - It is 19 degrees below zero. The climate is so severe that even dogs barely leave their warm shelters. On the Giljeva Mountain, which is 1300 meters above sea level, a primary school is located in the village of Bare...

Staying at School in Serbia
A UNICEF pilot project identifies pupils at risk of dropping out – and provides them and their schools with the support they need.

Education for all – Together
A network of education professionals is opening up Serbia’s schools to children of all backgrounds and abilities – with support from UNICEF.

Kindergartens without Borders
More children from isolated and vulnerable families in Serbia are enjoying a pre-school education – thanks to inspiration from UNICEF’s Kindergarten without Borders concept.

Serbia’s young people learn to help themselves
In tough economic times, the young people of Serbia need all the help they can get. Thanks to youth volunteer services and programmes supported by UNICEF, they are starting to help each other.

From institutional isolation to a loving family home
UNICEF is helping Serbia to realise its policy of deinstitutionalisation – so that all children can enjoy the benefits of growing up in a family environment.

Roma and Serbian children share their realities through a camera lens
Serbia: Roma and Serbian children share their realities through a camera lens...

Mirela: A Resilient Roma Girl setting her goals with support from HIV Prevention Drop-in Centre
Mirela, a seventeen-year old Roma girl, has learned to cope with challenges that would make even the strongest among us give up hope.

Bliss in the dark
Belgrade, Serbia, In a small, cozy room four people are laughing and talking about common things. They seem pretty close to each other, like they have been friends for a long time. It looks like an ordinary atmosphere among friends ...

Peers helping peers
Loznica, Serbia - The first floor of the health centre in Loznica is crowded with young people. The corridors are plastered with posters on healthy lifestyles, risks of unprotected sexual intercourse, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

Life in a day: connecting Roma communities to health services (and more)
At the health centre in Cukarica on the outskirts of Belgrade, a Roma couple in their late teens are waiting nervously for Zorica Stanojevic. Rujezi and Merlina are expecting their first child, and are here for aroutine check-up.

“Kindergarten without Frontiers” – Great Expectations in Veliki Izvor
Veliki Izvor is an agricultural village with a population of 2,600 people, situated six kiloimeters away from the town of Zajecar in Eastern Serbia. It is famous for the production of nursery plants ...

Transforming law into reality: education for all in Serbia
Two schools in Belgrade transform the lives of children with disabilities

A child with disability is an excellent student
Like many of his friends, the 16-year-old Ljubomir Tintor is attending classes every day in the First High School in Belgrade. The only differences are that he is going to school in a special vehicle provided by the city transport company and ...

House in the middle of the road
Stamnica village, Serbia 2010 - "Mom! Mom! Could you please help me with the coffee?" shouts Ivana, a beautiful 18-year-old girl, dressed in white, carrying out a plastic plate with six cups of fresh coffee to the courtyard....

A new chance for a happy childhood
BELGRADE/VALJEVO, December 2011 - Andjela was diagnosed with Down syndrome when she was born five years ago. Her mother abandoned her while she was still in the maternity ward.

Embraced By the Municipality: Dusan’s Journey to Walking
Pirot, Serbia - It was a day like any other. Dusan was on his way to Pralipe, the Development Education Centre, to meet his patronage teacher for his daily lessons. The only difference today is that his twin brother, Dragan, is tagging along ...

“One Step Closer to Walking: How Collaborative Municipal Efforts Worked Together to Break Stigma”
Bela Palanka, Serbia - Nine-year-old Natalia always sits at the front of the class. It is her favourite place to be. She is an eager student with a record of straight 'A's. When the school bell rings in the end of the day ...



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