The Workshop is an educational and recreational safe space for refugees and asylum-seekers based throughout Serbia. This space allows beneficiaries to learn outside the restrictive refugee camp setting and come together with local and foreign volunteers to share and gain knowledge
We are dedicated to providing high-quality, personal, and practical informal education to help reduce the learning gap, build skills for the future, mitigate feelings of restlessness and frustration stemming from camp living, and facilitate integration and inclusion into Serbia and the rest of Europe.
“For the first time I am in a good place in my life. I am glad I can have a good time here, in a place where I can learn with people from all around the world. The teachers teach with soul”
- Reza, English and Serbian student
WE AIM TO
provide a safe educational environment for refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants throughout Serbia
reduce the learning gap through informal education and help build skills for the future
mitigate feelings of restlessness and frustration that stem from living in camp conditions
facilitate integration into Serbia and the rest of Europe
“I enjoy coming to The Workshop not only because of its positive and encouraging atmosphere, but also because it is a space that seeks to empower and give agency to individuals through education"
- Gurpal, Admin Intern and Volunteer Teacher
Our doors are open for any refugee who is looking for educational support, or a safe and welcoming space.
For over five years, ‘The Workshop: Belgrade’ has provided educational and cultural activities to refugees living throughout Serbia in government-run centres and safe-houses for unaccompanied refugee children.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we began providing daily online classes, something we have continued to do as it is very popular amongst our female students and unaccompanied minor students living in safe houses.
By bringing together refugees with local and international volunteers, this project also serves to build community and further beneficiaries’ integration into Serbian society. Our teaching philosophy values personalised, practical, and confidence-building language instruction.
In April 2017 two independent organizations established during the so-called ‘European Refugee Crisis’ in Serbia, Refugee Aid Serbia and NorthStar, opened The Workshop in Belgrade. Following the effective closure of the Hungarian border with Serbia through the building of a border fence in 2016, and with an increase in hostility toward refugees in neighbouring countries, the number of refugees in Serbia grew by the end of the year. What had previously been a transit country along the 'Balkan Route' was now a place where those seeking safety were stranded for extended periods of time. Both NorthStar and Refugee Aid Serbia recognised the changing needs of the refugee population, from immediate aid to more structural and sustainable support, with education being a key component.
The Workshop: Belgrade serves as a safe learning and recreational space for refugees living in the Belgrade area, mainly those who reside in the city’s Asylum Centre, Krnjaca. The centre began by offering survival English classes, expanding over time to meet all levels. Today the Workshop has developed curricula for Serbian, German, French, Mathematics, and I.T., in addition to providing a variety of recreational workshops and excursions to museums and other cultural centres in Belgrade.
In our over five years of operation, we have been constantly working to adapt to the needs of our beneficiaries and find new ways to encourage integration. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, The Workshop developed a programme for online classes and later initiated The Workshop: On the Road, which hosts recreational workshops in camps and institutional centres throughout the country. Learn more here.