In over 60 countries people connect with the United States at a local American Corner. Each Corner is a great place to learn English, attend interesting events, and explore the latest digital information technologies.
In Novi Sad, Serbia, the American Corner is doing even more important work. As Syrian refugees arrive in the Balkan nation, American Corner staff are stepping up to provide humanitarian assistance.
“Most of [the refugees] are hungry, tired and terrified, and that is something you can’t just ignore,” program coordinator Marko Bumbic said.
Bumbic and his colleagues organized a benefit drive that collected over 400 kilograms of food, clothing and hygienic products for Syrian and North African refugees. They coordinated with Serbian NGOs to distribute them.
During their efforts, American Corner staff learned that Arabic-speaking refugees needed to find useful information available in their own language. That’s why they plan to establish a 24-hour Arabic call center for the refugees.
“This call center will give them support and all the information which will make their stay much more comfortable,” Bumbic said.
This is not the first time Serbian American Corner staff have helped the community. They collected donations to help local flood victims in 2014 and more recently supplied hospitals with clothing for local newborns.
Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, the U.S. has contributed over $4.15 billion to humanitarian relief efforts — more than any other donor.
You can help too. Start with this list of organizations and see what you can do today.