Citizens’ Association Atina receives a prestigious American award for its contribution to working with children victims of human trafficking

Citizens’ Association Atina is the winner of the prestigious award (Global Catalyst Award), assigned by the American Global Fund for Children, for its contribution to working with children victims of human trafficking. A representative of Hilton Worldwide conferred the award to Marijana Savic, Atina’s Director, at the Spring Gala in New York City. This year, globally, the award was given six civil society organizations that have had the most impact in the protection of children and young people in their communities, and Atina is one of them. 

"The Global Fund for Children’s award came at the right time, as Atina is celebrating its 10th year anniversary. This award encompasses all our efforts and hard work, and it is proof that the success we have achieved is recognized, but it also means that we are on the right track. That track is bumpy, because we are in need of a support for the programs that must not function on a project basis, as is the case now, and that must be provided for by long-term support to children and young people, victims of human trafficking in the Republic of Serbia. In the last seven years, Atina has significantly evolved and grown with the continued support of the Global Fund for Children, not only as an organization, but also through the increasing quality of our programs. That is a message to all the donors that this is the right way to invest. Our programs are not only intended for the children victims of human trafficking, but also to all the children who are at risk of different types of exploitation, who have suffered violence, and who belong to the most vulnerable groups in Serbia," Marijana Savic, the Director of Atina, said while receiving the award. According to her, in 2013. alone Atina provided support to more than 70 children and young people who are beneficiaries of this NGO. In addition to them, help and support was also provided for another 136 secondary beneficiaries, family members of the victims of human trafficking, on the territory of the Republic of Serbia, in cooperation with many organizations and institutions working with children at risk. "Those children and those young people, even though they have experienced and survived the situation of trafficking, have their own dreams, ambitions, everyday life, and we are there to follow through that process and, together with them, find the way to organize it and help them reach the path they have chosen."

Atina has been cooperating with the Global Fund for Children for seven years, in the field of direct work with children belonging to different vulnerable groups. Since its establishment in 2004, Atina has been extending assistance and support to the most disadvantaged children, and providing them with medical, psychological and legal aid; support in education and resolving their citizen/legal status; temporary accommodation, participation in the self-help groups, as well as in educational and other workshops for the (potential) victims of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. Atina provides training with the aim of strengthening institutions and organizations to provide adequate support to victims of human trafficking, and participates in the researches of the phenomenon of human trafficking. The Global Fund for Children works on improving dignity and status of children and youth around the world. Their mission is based on providing support to innovative organizations in local communities who work with children, who are the most disadvantaged in the world nowadays.