Group 484 is an organisation with a systematic approach to the migration issue, is in direct contact with migrants and refugees in our country, and has a developed educational programme and advocacy initiatives that place migration topics in a broader social context and public discourse.
For many years Grupa 484 was our regional voice in Europe by representing us in ECRE and always fighting for better policies and positions. By helping each other in the Balkan region we managed to raise the capacities of our CSOs on the level that we were able to respond during the 2015 migrant/refugee situation on highest possible level which was recognized by our governments and the international community. We continue to grow strong together through the Balkan Refugee and Migration Council (BRMC) ready for the new challenges ahead.
It’s very simple, there would be no ‘Humanities in Transition’ if there wasn’t for Group 484. Although readers’ clubs and public forums under the same name had started even earlier, but it all got serious when Group 484 got involved. Under the auspices of Group 484, the readers’ clubs were followed by summer/winter schools, and it has all been going on for almost a decade. Yes, that’s right, the Group has institutionalised the ‘Humanities’. However, the institutionalisation here does not mean only formalisation – the Group added more knowledge, more passion, more desire to make the whole Programme even better. In other words, it acted as a friend, and this is what ‘Humanities in Transition’ are all about, or not, whatever.
Marija Šćekić Marković
What is ‘484’? It is when after a seminar kids give each other friendly hugs and say goodbye in five dialects and three languages. When, months later, I meet some of them downtown and they inform me about who they have been in touch with, and the whole afternoon afterwards, memories of those meetings keep flooding back as I watch photos.
When I say Group 484, I think of openness, support, friends (including a tomcat) and endless possibilities for a personal and creative expression. In it, I passed a long way from a student full of enthusiasm and a need to learn and be guided, to a person that can cope with various challenges. The Group is comprised of people before whom you may be both vulnerable and strong at the same time, people guided by the same ideas, but different people. It is this diversity and the room it provides for transforming yourself, the others and the reality, that drew me and made me attached to the Group.
Ivana Bogićević Leko
My first cooperation with Group 484 happened in June 2000. It was at a high-school camp in Goč that gathered high school students from various towns in Serbia. So, this year we celebrate and mark a twentieth anniversary! Time has passed by quickly since then – many meetings, actions, unities and firm friendships that last. The greatest values of these meetings are people and inseparable ties between us. Our most joyful achievement is keeping and cherishing ties with most of the young who have been going though “We and the Others” Programme, and who genuinly cherish the values we have been building up together, conveying them to the others.
I came to the ‘Group’, as we call it internally, as a volunteer. Since day one, I felt as a part of the team who was working in the field, at a camp in Bogovadja. During my work, I had an opportunity to acquire both personal and professional know-how and experience, which I am very proud of. Working for the Group provided me with a lot of experience and many colleagues with whom I hope to have an opportunity to work again in future.
Challenges of contemporary times are faced far easier with professional and socially responsible organisations such as Group 484 by your side. For me, cooperation with Group 484 was invaluable experience. Humanity and dedication to a human being, that I experienced while working within this Group, remain an inspiration for me and a motivation for my further work and for both professional and personal advancement.
Nataša Čakić Simić
People. When you cross a project’s gate, you meet people. The dedicated and the unwilling, travellers, fugitives, these and those, always interesting for one reason or another, dedicated to their lives and goals. People. An ancient mosaic, fragile stained glass, an ever-changing kaleidoscope. A juicy salad! Faces, hands, looks, sometimes words. Ah, yes…and rage, indignation, defeat, suffering. All of it, because it’s all people. It’s not about projects, but about exchanges, small dozes of you and me. And so, I took thousands of steps and met thousands of me, together with the Group. I am now everywhere.
In the resistance movement, during the war, I used to come across this woman, different from all: stunning, defiant and unbearable. Jelena Šantić. But really, stunning, defiant and unbearable!
And the war finished. On the invitation of a friend, I joined other fellow-fighters in Group 484 field missions – and yes, despite everything, we continuously encourage and inspire new generations on their path towards knowledge, dissent and doubts.
And then I realised – it’s no wonder that Group 484 is the same as its founder Jelena: stunning, defiant and unbearable! And yes, just like in a surreal poem, through its initiatives, it continues the rebellion of a ballet dancer…anyway, I don’t even need to finish the sentence (there you are, this stinginess is also something I learnt from the Group, shhh).
WHY SCHOOL? – On identities and intercultural issues
Group 484, in cooperation with partners (Vaša prava BiH and Jelena Šantić Foundation), organised a four-day seminar “WHY SCHOOL? - On identities and intercultural issues”, for students of social sciences from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Zepter Hotel…
Good News Drummers in Bujanovac and Vranje and Comic Strip Trip in Loznica
During December, we adjusted to working in the virtual world and hung out with secondary school students from Vranje, Bujanovac and Loznica at online workshops. The workshops are a continuation of the educational process started in the programme for university…
Human stories about the importance of support, solidarity, difficulties and small victories
“We have a hard life. We manage as best we can and know. The children are well, thank God. They take care of each other, they go to school regularly. They share clothes. I am sorry that we are not…