25 Years of CARE in the Balkan

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When CARE started working in the Balkans 25 years ago, the world looked very different from today. Since the end of the wars in the former Yugoslavian countries, the region has undergone unprecedented political, economic, social and cultural changes…

Preface

A lot can happen in 25 years, from human development to technological breakthroughs and everything in between. A quarter century ago, cordless landlines were the predecessor of mobile phones, the European Union was created by the Maastricht Treaty, and the World Wide Web became a public domain. Anyone anticipating in 1993 what life might be like in 2018 would have likely missed the mark in some ways.

When CARE started working in the Balkans 25 years ago, the world looked very different from today. Since the end of the wars in the former Yugoslavian countries, the region has undergone unprecedented political, economic, social and cultural changes. Communities have experienced the benefits but also the disillusions of democratization and the uncertainties of a new economic system in an ever-shifting international context.

Throughout history, the progress in the Balkans has been closely tied to the idea that all people have rights: universal entitlements to freedom, dignity and security, to be treated equally and to live free from oppression. The health and soul of all communities in the region depend on how these human rights are recognized – and acted upon.

CARE places gender equality at the heart of all of our efforts. The need to address women's empowerment and gender equality in the patriarchal societies that are deeply shaken by wars and militarization was recognized quite early by CARE in the Balkans. Equally, the social, economic and political fulfillment of people's rights is at the very core of CARE's mandate in the Balkans.

What has shaped our work the most in all those years were not necessarily historic or political milestones, but our countless encounters with the people we serve and work with. Our ambitions and achievements are best told through their eyes. As such, we are honored to present to our esteemed readers this storybook, providing a glimpse of people's lives and accomplishments.

On behalf of the entire CARE International network, we would like to express our profound appreciation to the international community at large, and in particular to all the partners and donors who supported us along the way. We hope that all our partners, more recent or long-standing, will continue to support CARE's work for prosperous, peaceful and socially just communities across the Balkans.

Sumka Bučan
Regional Director
CARE Balkans

25 Years of CARE in the Balkan


28.09.2018

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