All across Serbia, among meadows, mountains and streams, there are bright young minds filled with endless imagination, kindness and talent. As long as they stay in their homes, the villages of Serbia will continue to live on. However, they need our support.
Every fourth village in Serbia is on the verge of extinction. The latest research shows that as many as 1,200 settlements will soon fall into oblivion and that in more than 200 villages there is no person younger than 20. However, the problem lies not only in the numbers but also in the great importance of these areas for the future of all of us. The Serbian village is deeply ingrained in the roots and past of Serbian people. Various customs, memories, legends, songs are related to those areas and are part of our identity. Our ancestors fought for their beauty and left it to us for safekeeping.
The reasons for the disappearance of such beauty are numerous. Poor infrastructure, insufficient employment opportunities, low wages, economic unsustainability of family farms. Young people and families are leaving their homes, and moving to cities or even abroad, looking for a better future.
How can we restore faith in the villages of Serbia?
The solution lies in systemic investment in various segments of rural development, which, among other things, includes investing in the early education of children who live there. An accessible safe environment for children to learn and socialize with their peers would make life easier for parents living in villages and further motivate them to stay.
Unfortunately, a large number of villages in Serbia do not have preschools or they are often in a very poor infrastructural condition with insufficient capacity. For that reason, children in their early years are usually cared for by their grandparents or one of the parents who is then unable to work. Houses in the villages are scattered, so children do not have the everyday opportunity to play with their peers. Bad roads make it difficult for families to regularly visit the nearest more developed places and take children there to preschool or school. In the winter months, villages in more remote areas are completely isolated.
Therefore, the opening of preschools in such areas would significantly contribute to reducing the number of villages that are disappearing.
The village of Ljubiš – home of brave and hardworking people
One of the villages in Serbia that does not have its own preschool is the village of Ljubiš in the vicinity of mountain Zlatibor. Serbian famous children’s poet Ljubivoje Ršumović, as well as many other academics, came from this small place, but today no one invests in the talents that are hidden there.
In Ljubiš, houses are scattered among the hills, more than 5 km away, so children often have no friends to play with.
There are not many opportunities for a stable source of income, and parents don’t have anyone to take care of the children while they are working so they cannot dedicate themselves to finding a permanent job.
“If my child went to preschool, I would have time to get a job. I finished art school and I want to continue with my professional development. Currently, our family depends only on one salary, because I have to take care of my son all day long,” says mother Radmila Pećinar.
Currently, there are 20 children aged 1 to 6 who live in the village of Ljubiš who do not have access to early education. These children come mainly from deprived families and that is why preschool would be especially important for them – it would help with the prevention of the consequences of development in an insufficiently stimulating environment.
“Because of that large distance between the houses, and also from the next more developed city, children lack play, socializing and communication. When they get older, they’ll go to school unprepared. Often they don’t even have some basic hygiene habits. The adaptation period to school and their peers will last much longer and affect their further development. “- explained the teacher Nada Joksimović from the Čajetina Municipality.
How can you help us save the village of Ljubiš from disappearing?
A significant part of the work of our Foundation is building and adaptation of preschools, especially in rural areas. So far, we have opened 45 preschools throughout Serbia, but you can help us open another one in the village of Ljubiš!
Join our “Season of Giving” campaign and help us provide a better childhood for over 20 children from this small village. Become part of the Team Ljubiš by donating via this link.
If you are not able to donate – don’t worry!
You can also help us by sharing the news about our campaign and the story of this small place with your family, colleagues and friends. That way, together we will spread the message about the importance of investing in early development and supporting communities in rural areas in Serbia.
By supporting our campaign, you are motivating families to continue building their lives in the countryside and giving children the opportunity to make their dreams come true. We don’t want Ljubiš to become part of the statistic that worry us all. We believe in the strength of the team Ljubiš!