The First Serbian New Year’s Humanitarian Garden Dedicated to Vulnerable Groups and Environment

The opening of the first New Year's Humanitarian Garden in the Botanical Garden "Jevremovac"  and the proclamation of the most beautifully decorated tree was organized today by the Botanical Garden "Jevremovac" of the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade in cooperation with the Serbian Philanthropy Forum Charity Coalition led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation.

This year's New Year's Humanitarian Garden was organized for the first time, modeled on botanical gardens of many world capitals, as a kind of continuation of the campaign "Save food, save humanity", with the goal of becoming a traditional annual socially responsible action. Seven donors - Bambi, JYSK, SGS, OTP Bank Serbia, Eurobank Direct, Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Diplo Center decorated the trees that will adorn the Botanical Garden "Jevremovac" until mid-January and donated almost 800,000 dinars.

"Today, we have gathered to mark the first humanitarian decoration of conifers, which is being held before the upcoming New Year's holidays. On this occasion, I would like to thank the Elementary Music School "Nevena Popović" from Grocka, which beautifies this event with its performance. The participants and organizers of this event, as well as our dear guests, deserve special gratitude. New Year's holidays are an opportunity to share what we have with other people who do not have and help fellow citizens and children to spend the holidays in peace and happiness", said Ph.D. Gordana Subakov Simić, director of the Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden "Jevremovac".

At today's ceremony, along with the appropriate music program, the most beautifully decorated tree was announced, which was decorated by the OTP Bank Serbia. The most beautifully decorated tree was chosen by the citizens who had the opportunity to vote in the Botanical Garden or through the social networks of the Botanical Garden.

Half of the funds raised from the lease of trees in the amount of almost 800,000 dinars will be used for the renewal of the plant fund of the Botanical Garden "Jevremovac", with an aim to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions caused by food waste. The other half of the collected funds will be used for the purchase of food packages for the most vulnerable citizens through the Serbian Philanthropy Forum, which in the previous 3 months together with the Coalition for Giving through the “Save Food, Save Humanity” campaign and the National Giving Day collected food worth more than 13.6 million dinars for the most vulnerable citizens.

Jelena Avramovic from USAID reminded the audience of the rich philanthropic history of Serbia, thanking all companies and citizens who invest in the common good, as well as the fact that the Botanical Garden "Jevremovac", which was founded in the late 19th century, has been one of the most beautiful in this part of Europe.

"Whenever possible, the Serbian Philanthropy Forum connects its social responsibility with the holidays. The Botanical Garden beautifies the lives of children, many residents of Belgrade and guests every day. Now we have dedicated a day together to our children, ecological culture and beautiful entertainment. We wish the membership and our partners a successful and solidary year" said Veran Matic, executive director of the Serbian Philanthropy Forum.

The ceremony is organized by the Botanical Garden "Jevremovac" of the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade and the Coalition for Giving, led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, as part of the Framework for Giving project, funded by USAID. Other Coalition members are the Trag Foundation, Catalyst Balkans, Smart Kolektiv, the Serbian Philanthropy Forum, the Responsible Business Forum, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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