IOCC, “Philanthropy” Continue Close Cooperation

Baltimore, MD (September 20, 2002) — Together, they have served tens of thousands of war refugees in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Now, their partnership on behalf of Yugoslavia’s most vulnerable people is growing stronger through shared training and resources.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and Philanthropy, the humanitarian arm of the Serbian Orthodox Church, are working together to improve cooperation between the two agencies. Philanthropy Finance Manager Tamara Jankovic recently spent a week at IOCC’s headquarters in Baltimore, Md., to receive training in accounting software for non-profit organizations.

The training will enhance the ability of both agencies to communicate and work with each other.

“This was a really good experience for me,” Mrs. Jankovic said. “Now I can go back and implement what I learned. I appreciate the fact that IOCC is reaching out to us and helping us realize our mission.”

The training is one example of how IOCC works with the Orthodox Church and its institutions worldwide, partnering with them and building their capacity to provide assistance. Philanthropy has been one of IOCC’s most important partners during and after the war in the former Yugoslavia.

Together, they have built a database of more than 30,000 people living in refugee shelters in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; distributed emergency food and non-food items to tens of thousands of refugees; trained people in vocational skills; helped people meet their food needs through agricultural initiatives such as plastic greenhouses and monastery-based farms; and reconnected private citizens to water wells damaged in the 1991-1995 war.

Mrs. Jankovic said Philanthropy, as an agency of the Serbian Orthodox Church, is experiencing increasing support from Serbs, but a lot of work remains to be done. “When people find out about us, they react really positively,” she said. “This is to our advantage because, of all the institutions in the former Yugoslavia, the Orthodox Church has the highest level of trust among the people.”

Founded in 1992, IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of Orthodox Christians.