Not only does The Workshop provide tailored education for our students, we also have many recreational projects and workshops, including football and cricket sessions, and arts workshops to further facilitate the inclusion of refugees into Serbian society.
Find out more about our work below:
THE WORKSHOP: BELGRADE
The Workshop: Belgrade provides a range of educational and recreational workshops in our Belgrade centre, from language classes to arts and professional skills-building workshops.
We strive to provide an educational environment that is challenging, motivating and responsive to the needs and interests of our students. Our curricula are dynamic and are constantly improving to meet the diverse and unique needs of our students. Currently, the core learning activities focus on the Serbian and English languages. We are currently offering these services in the Belgrade space and online to refugees living throughout Serbia.
We have hosted a range of recreational workshops: origami, coding, comic book drawing, photography, and music. We regularly organise field trips for our students, to local museums and other cultural institutions to provide a well-rounded and immersive learning experience.
‘The Workshop: On the Road’ began in September 2021 and is an expansion of The Workshop's Belgrade activities to refugee camps and institutional centres across Serbia.
The On the Road project currently provides recreational and educational activities on a weekly basis in Obrenovac Camp and at the Institute for Youth and Education for unaccompanied children in Niš.
Since the launch of the project, we have hosted football and cricket matches, as well as movie showings and visits to the cinema in Adaševci, Principovac, Kikinda, Obrenovac and Niš. Our priority is to focus on those camps and centres that are underserved.
THE WORKSHOP: IN THE COMMUNITY
As part of our commitment to promoting the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers in Serbian society, and in hoping to raise awareness of the situation in Serbia,
The Workshop has consistently strived to host community
outreach programmes and events to help bring people together and break down barriers.
We also offer trainings to volunteers and other NGOs. If you'd like to attend our next training on teaching or the context and recent history of refugees in the Balkans, please contact us
Read on for an overview of some of our most successful events:
THROUGH OUR EYES
In December 2018, our students participated in a three week long programme by From Inside Project where they taught our students how to play with composition and exposure, using donated cameras. The result was a collection of spectacular images: of Krnjaca camp, of their snowy journeys to the Workshop, of the city of Belgrade through their eyes. Inspired by the images, we organised an exhibition named Through Our Eyes, which was exhibited at Kvaka 22, an artists’ community and gallery in the city. The following Saturday, we organised for a group of local DJs, WATP, who played incredible sets surrounded by the exhibition. This was live streamed as a successful fundraising drive on social media. It was also an opportunity for us to encourage integration with the local community and give our students the opportunity to be celebrated - not as refugees - but as artists.
Thanks to a grant from IRIS Network in summer 2019, The Workshop planned to conduct a series of inclusion and integration festivals in 5 cities around the country. Unfortunately, these activities were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we were still able to host events in Subotica and Sjenica.
In Subotica, we tailored our activities to suit the needs of the camp population, with mostly families residing in the government-run centre. Our volunteers hosted a successful arts and crafts workshop for children of the camp, while our team hosted a screen filming of the film Rušenje Predrasuda and a Q & A session with the director, Sanja Eker, and journalist, Natalija Jakovljević for older refugees and members of the local population.
With the support of Kancelarija za Mlade Sjenica, we were able to host a successful two-day festival in Sjenica in March 2020. On the first day, we arranged a successful tournament for three teams from the government-run centre and two teams from the local community. The next day, we hosted a show of cultural displays in the city's Ustanova Kulture, with performances from KUD Jedinstvo and KUD Gajrat, which succeeded in bringing refugees and locals together in a day of celebration.
In June 2019 the Workshop promoted Refugee Week by raising awareness on the situation for refugees along the Balkan Route and in Belgrade through factual social media posts.
This accompanied our series of events: a comic book illustrating event for students with OKO NAS and local artists; a football tournament between teams from both asylum centres and local teams; a picnic for employees and volunteers of NGOs working with refugees to get to network; and a screening of the award-winning Serbian short film "Anywhere: Bilo Gde" with a Q+A with the director, Aleksandar Aleksic.
In December 2017, a regular student at The Workshop approached one of our volunteers and said how sad he was that he couldn’t engage in as much sport as he’d like, and he’d love the chance to play football. Not long after, The Workshop football team was born. Every week between January 2018 and the summer of 2019, a group of footballers from Krnjaca Asylum Centre and some refugees living elsewhere in the city have gathered in Palilula to play 5-a-side.
These successful weekly get-togethers culminated in tournaments organised by Refugee Aid Serbia and The Workshop, including teams from camps all around Serbia and local Serbian teams.