(1) For Every Child to Have the Childhood That They Deserve

My mission in life is to help as many people as possible and have a positive impact on my community. I have been working with the humanitarian organization Pokreni Zivot, which organizes humanitarian projects for Serbian families that are in extreme need of proper housing and resources. The organization also works to provide financial assistance to young kids in Serbia with serious health issues to go abroad and receive medical attention. I chose this field for my internship because my own family was in unfair situations due to poverty, wars, and occupations. These situations cause great suffering among the most disadvantaged communities, which is why I believe it is important for organizations such as Pokreni Zivot to exist.

Before and after images of the sixth successfully renovated home by the humanitarian foundation Pokreni Zivot.

This humanitarian foundation is run by youth who put an emphasis on helping the most vulnerable people within our society, including impoverished families, single parent homes, sick children and the disabled. The mission statement is “for every child to have the childhood that they deserve,” and the accumulated donations are utilized to help renovate homes by installing basic necessities such as beds, electricity, and proper infrastructure. The foundation believes that these home improvements allow for disadvantaged families to reach their full potential by being able to focus on their educations and careers.

This organization directly confronts the social injustice of unfair worldwide healthcare inequity and poverty.  It works to help people that are affected by limited healthcare resources and people that are in urgent need of basic necessities. Throughout this summer, I am responsible for organizing fundraising events, managing marketing, implementing donation boxes in various locations to raise money, talking with families, and in-person volunteering, among other tasks.

My future career goals are to be involved in charities that aim to improve world health and equity. This internship experience will further inform me of inequities in our societies and how we can work to dismantle them. Therefore, I aim to come out of this internship with more knowledge on how to help marginalized communities effectively. I hope to become an effective advocate for housing and food resource reform in impoverished communities.

One particular achievement that I am proud of is reaching out to shopping center executives and getting a positive response for creating a donation bank, which will allow for more donations to be raised in a highly visited location. A general achievement of the organization was opening a humanitarian store (where all profit goes to helping people) and renovating a sixth home for an impoverished family.

Humanitarian store in Leskovac, Serbia, where profit directly goes to medical treatment of children.

Progress would be to encourage more privileged people to help give back to their own disadvantaged communities. Another form of progress would be for governments to take more action into helping these marginalized people around the world and to be involved in redistributing resources. I am proud to witness how a youth-run organization such as Pokreni Zivot can improve the lives of  many through the donations and help of regular citizens.