CRS History in Serbia
Catholic Relief Services opened our office in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1996 in response to the violent breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Responding to this emergency, we offered clothes, food, heating and hygiene supplies to refugees and other marginalized groups such as senior citizens and Roma. Recognizing the need to build a culture of peace, CRS opened an office in Montenegro and implemented the regional Parent-School-Partnership initiative in May 1998. The Montenegrin suboffice in Podgorica was closed in 2005, leaving CRS partners to take the leading role in youth policy in Montenegro.
After Slobodan Milosevic lost power and the country began to rejoin the European economy, CRS Serbia shifted focus from humanitarian assistance to programs that encourage citizen participation. These programs include education, poverty reduction and building a culture of tolerance.