People in Need started working in former Yugoslavia in the early ‘90s, in response to the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars. PIN arrived in the war-torn states to deliver humanitarian aid and emergency supplies to those affected by the conflicts and has remained in the region since to support the renewal and reconstruction of various aspects of social and economic life.
Since 2005, PIN has dedicated its efforts in Serbia towards supporting people with intellectual disabilities. Initially, our focus was to lessen the detrimental impact of long-term economic problems on the institutions which housed people with disabilities. However, after alleviating critical situations, PIN re-directed its focus towards long-term structural change of care system. Between 2005 and 2018, PIN have been supporting the process of deinstitutionalisation by establishing Independent Living services in the community and promoting social inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities. PIN has also supported people with disabilities to regain their legal capacity.
As well as such longer term initiatives aimed at systematic change in the field of social services, PIN also mobilised during the height of the refugee crisis in 2015/6 to support refugees fleeing through Serbia. PIN helped to distribute food, tea and winter clothes, and supported local authorities in building campsites and managing crowds. Later, PIN also organised recreational activities for children.
Since 2017, PIN has also embarked on an initiative to empower youth through human rights education. The learning methodology involves using documentary movies and other audio-visual means as a means to teach and raise awareness about human rights.