Serbia Aging-International Day of Older Persons

Health, Social Responsibility Movies

Serbia Aging-International Day of Older Persons

me of dominoes or cards, a one Euro hair cut, or simply the chance to meet up with friends for a drink; a club for senior citizens on the outskirts of the Serbian capital, Belgrade, provides a valuable service for pensioners, who might otherwise be sitting alone at home.

SOUNDBITE (Serbian) Spiro Bezbradica, President, Municipal Organization of Pensioners, Zemun:
“That’s our personal mission and the reason for our existence; to find the right activities that will give them back their dignity and make them feel useful as if they have a place under the sun.”

Working between the tables, is a familiar figure here, Vladanka-Vanjya Miskin, a prominent volunteer and advocate for the rights of Serbia’s seniors.

An active member of Serbia’s Union of Pensioners, the organization brings together nearly 200 senior citizens’ groups, and is supported by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA.

SOUNDBITE (Serbian) Vladanka Vanja Miskin, Counsellor, Union of Pensioners, Serbia:
“It’s not easy to be a pensioner anywhere in the world, but it’s especially difficult in Serbia, because we are a country in transition, with socio-economic problems. And seniors are coping as best they can.”

The capital, Belgrade, still bears the scars of war and years of sanctions and isolation, which have left it struggling economically.

An ambitious plan, the National Strategy for Aging, was designed to be in place to meet the needs of the country’s greying population, but has yet to be fully implemented.

SOUNDBITE (English) Marija Rakovic, Assistant Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):
“Frankly speaking not much has been done so far. One of the reasons is, for example, the national strategy didn’t entail action plan and a budget as its integral part, so most of the activities were actually implemented by local national NGO’s with the support of international organizations and the United Nations.”

And with a population that has seniors accounting for 17 percent and growing, it is a need that must be addressed.

SOUNDBITE (English) Marija Rakovic, Assistant Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):
“One of the major things as UNFPA working here in Serbia is advocacy among decision makers, because unfortunately most of the ministries still does not see their role, and they still do not see this problem of aging as a burning problem in our country.”

In the meantime, the elderly at this club and others largely support each other.


Language: Serbian

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 1:45 mins

Country: Serbia


  • Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV)


  • Susan Sacirbey (UNTV)