Update from team member, Jill
Heading back to Serbia with 500 carriers!
We waited for a customs form we would need to pass into Serbia with the 500 baby carriers we have been hauling around. Our contact in Serbia sent it and we were on the road – a snowy road.
We would have to pass from Macedonia into Serbia, another border crossing. I think the border and immigration people take pity on us — we truly are clueless, so much so that people have been feeling sorry for us and helping us. We just get passed from one office to the next. Today was the same, but it looks like we have success! We were told MANY times, “go straight to Belgrade to customs office here.” And the agent would point to our paperwork that is now full of very important-looking stamps.
Maps said our drive from Skopje to Belgrade was 3.5 hours. Sort of close — it took us only seven. Counting our hour at the border.
We headed straight to the customs office like we were told – arrived at 5 p.m. and were told to return at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Refugees Foundation Serbia
SOOOOOOO close! So we checked into our hotel and went to meet with our Serbian partner Eden, who runs this amazing program called Refugees Foundation Serbia. He has rented a little two-story building (maybe 100 square feet total) and he and his volunteers offer English classes, math classes and a safe place for kids to come and hang out. He will have any where from 25 to 50 kids show up every day. The kids come with a mom who will bring a bunch over, or the older kids will take some smaller kids over. They ride the bus, which I am sure is a nice break from the monotony of camp life. There are 1,000 people in the camp here in Belgrade; 500 are under 18. The government has sent 20 students to school, and that was not until December. This center is run 100 percent on donations.
Once again our faith in mankind was rewarded by meeting someone who does such amazing work.
The camps in Serbia have been in the news these past few weeks; the conditions are basic at best. We will see firsthand tomorrow when we deliver the much-needed baby carriers.