In the summer 2000, in the group of Italian volunteers, who spent two weeks in Nis and Southeastern Serbia on the Psychosocial Support project funded by UNHCR, in the camp organised by “Lunaria”, there was Pietro Pertici, from the organisation “TAVOLA DELLA PACE E DELLA COOPERAZIONE”, a member of ICS. Among other centres, he visited the collective centre for the accommodation of refugees and IDPs “Selova”, 15 km away from Kursumlija, an underdeveloped municipality in the south of Serbia, on the administrative border with Kosovo. At that time, Kursumlija with 23,000 inhabitants offered refuge to internally displaced people (IDPs) from Kosovo – to around 10,000 of them in the first wave. Only the most vulnerable got the accommodation in CC “Selova”, the workers’ barracks of the company which used to build the dam nearby. The collective centre is 5 km way from the nearest village, where the children from the centre go to school, and 15 km away from this small town.

Having seen the living conditions, the isolation of the centre, very few opportunities for employment, threatened psychological conditions of the beneficiaries, as well as very disadvantaged conditions for the normal development of children and youth, Pietro, after he went back to Italy, in cooperation with his organisation, provided the funds for the Mediateca Project in this centre. The project provided for the rehabilitation of the premises for children and youth, which now offer a TV, a satellite dish, a video, a stereo, a computer, a printer, as well as a large number of books, magazines, video-tapes, CDs, etc. The children and youth now also have the space for workshops organised by ICS, for socialising, studying, doing homework, etc. The organisation “TAVOLA DELLA PACE E DELLA COOPERAZIONE” provided the funds for the assistance to the National Library in Kursumlija, in the form of software, books and equipment. The cooperation and twinning between the municipalities Kursumlija and Pontedera were also initiated.

Hoping that this cooperation will continue, we use this opportunity to thank Pietro Pertici personally and the organisation “TAVOLA DELLA PACE E DELLA COOPERAZIONE”.