During the various trips that we take to talk to the Iranian and Afghan refugees in different cities, we realized that some of the management of the refugee camps have provided certain skill training and handicraft classes for the refugees (such as sewing, drawing, etc.) and have provided the materials necessary for these activities (to the extent that their resources will allow) in order to encourage the women to become more active in these areas. Even the smallest camps have access to these opportunities, however, one must also take into consideration the overall availability of resources in the country to carry out such programs. Nonetheless, we are attempting to help these artistic women and provide opportunities for them to grow through online meetings.
We also saw that many young mothers were having trouble providing powdered milk for their newborn babies. Because of various reasons such as the number of newborns in the camps, lack of availability of certain powdered milk brands, as well as the overwhelming number of refugees, it is difficult for the camps to provide it for the mothers. Therefore, we are trying to provide both powdered milk and new clothes for these newborn babies (to the extent that our resources will allow). We try very hard to ensure that these newborn babies do not have to wear second-hand clothing as they run a very high risk of being contaminated with bacteria that will make the babies sick.
During our trips to the southern cities in Serbia (and even some of the western ones), the number of Mosques and people dressed in Islamic dress pointed to the fact that these particular cities were heavily influenced by Muslim culture. Although there are some protestant churches in the area that could help introduce Christianity to the Muslims, many of the Refugees still feel a connection to Muslim culture which causes them to feel unsafe in certain areas. Because they do not feel safe, they are reluctant to join Christian groups or participate in their activities. This is particularly true among the Afghan refugees in Serbia and especially the refugees in the camps located in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, we have noticed that many of the refugees have had exposure to Jehova’s witnesses in the area and have been fed false doctrine that has repelled them from the truth. Despite there being churches in the area that are well grounded and faithful, due to a lack of knowledge they have not taken the opportunity to engage with these issues and therefore have left many in spiritual captivity.