Kelebija is a small town on the Serbian-Hungarian border with the population of 3000 people. At the time of iHo start of operations the refugee population fluctuated between 250 to 500. This population resided in an open space settlement in the transit zone between the Serbian and Hungarian border. The living conditions were perplexed with one tap water source and two mobile toilets. The sheds were made of plastic covers on poor wooden constructions and did not provide for even the basic shelter.
iHo was the first organization to arrive to Kelebija, with a trailer offering internet/electricity and hot drinks. In time, this spot where the trailer was located became the place where more than 250 people were spending most of the day, and the need of having a shelter before the winter comes appeared. Also a learning center for more than 70 kids stranded for more than 5 month on the border was needed. The initiative was welcomed by the local officials. The iHo team met The Timber Project guys and built the first private shelter for refugees in a space of 500m2 including a man shelter, the learning center, 6 shower units and a playground for kids.
iHo Community Center Activities:
Beside providing for he internet/Electricity and hot drinks, iHo team invested many efforts to improve the place, and deliver the Aid and solidarity in one place, where many organizations started to visit the center and deliver aid on a daily schedule (DRC-CARE-MSF-UNHCR) and many independent volunteers.
Main Learning Center Activities:
– Language lessons (English, German)
– Relaxation activities (Telling stories, Drawing, Games)
– Theater, movies and Circus activities.
Contribution to the Local Community:
Hvala Serbia project:
Hvala Serbia is a new program launched by iHo to support the local community by donating to local vulnerable groups through corporation with different local associations (Red Cross – Home for Elderly – the Kelebija municipality). The name of the project comes from the fact that the Serbian community is supportive and helping in handling the refugee’s crises since it is started back in 2013.