Children from the local community and migrant families dance together for a school play, @EUMSS, May 2018

Vranje, May 25th, 2018 – Representatives of the EU, UN agencies and Serbian state institutions, visited today the Reception Centre for Migrants and the Health Centre in Vranje. The delegation also participated in the opening of the “Lives left behind” exibition and a celebration of the School Day in “Radoje Domanovic” Primary School in Vranje.

In line with the Government`s Response plan on increased number of migrants in the territory of the Republic of Serbia and due to the proximity of FYROM border, Reception Centre Vranje was opened in June 2017. The Centre currently hosts 127 beneficiaries.

Thanks to the EU funding, the adequate assistance was provided for both local community and migrants residing in Vranje.

The fully equipped ambulance vehicle worth EUR 40,000 was donated to the Health Centre “Vranje”. The new laboratory equipment worth EUR 21,000 was donated to the Institute of Public Health. Two technicians were engaged to ensure adequate provision of services for the enlarged number of beneficiaries, as well as to ensure proper level of hygiene in the reception centers and public facilities like schools, kindergartens and hospitals.

During the visit, Mr. Nicolas Bizel, Head of Operations in the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and Mr. Slobodan Milenkovic, Mayor of the City of Vranje have opened the exhibition “Memories left behind“, set at the plateau of the National Museum. The exhibition composed of 20 photographs of migrant children' toys left behind during their stay on the Western Balkans Route, when thousands of people transited through the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

On the occasion of the School Day, teachers from “Radoje Domanovic” Primary School prepared the theatre play that was pre-premiered for the delegation. Both local and migrant children and their parents together with the school staff played the roles painting real life events. In the beginning of 2017/18 school year, a total of 12 children accommodated in the Vranje Reception Center enrolled the Primary School “Radoje Domanovic”. During the School visit, guests had an opportunity to see the multicultural diversity workshop, organised at the School premises. They could also hear about the improvements in the educational process accomplished thanks to the new IT and sports equipment, didactic material and furniture, donated by the EU.

The listed activities in the Municipality of Vranje were carried out within the EU-funded “Open Communities-Successful Communities” project, implemented by a consortium of UN agencies, led by the UNDP in partnership with WHO, IOM and UNOPS.

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