Our Goals

Strategic objectives and strategic measures

AFS’s work features development of partnerships in the region while nested in the World Vision (WV) family of organisations. As a result,  AFS implements activities in cooperation with the child-focused CSOs from the countries of the so called wider Black Sea region, i.e. in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Transcaucasia. In Serbia, AFS works with local communities, in partnership with the relevant local actors coming from different sectors.

AFS sets its focus on 3 main strategic objectives:

Strategic objective 1: To increase number and quality of community services for children in Serbia and region through networking with and among community actors

Even though they exist, albeit in a limited number, the region’s services for children, many years after reforms, remain underdeveloped. The primary reason for that is the lack of recognition of the child welfare as the priority of the community, which is why the local authorities lack the feeling of ownership over services which are predominantly initiated by the donors. Another important reason is the rigid relationship of the community towards the concept of services, where the services are seen exclusively as a mean to satisfy the basic infrastructural needs of a single group of users, instead of a holistic inter-sector systemic effort of the community to achieve children welfare. AFS acknowledges that these services in the community are necessary for all children. Services in the community are the practical manifestation of the community’s care for the welfare of children.

Hence, AFS focuses its efforts towards finding ways to convince local authorities not only to accept the responsibilities of organising welfare systems for children, including services, but also to make children welfare a highly recognised social value.

Strategic objective 2: Creating conditions to develop regional child-focused platform through setting up inter-sector partnerships in Serbia and other countries of the region

Current wider social tendencies that emerge in the region leave the question of the rights of children completely set aside as somewhat less significant, which is especially paradoxical, bearing in mind that the governments of the region nominally turn to the future. The welfare of children needs to be recognised as one of the major priorities of this region’s countries. The parallels that can be found between the statuses of the welfare of the children in the region, essentially, enabled the creation of the strategic partnership – the child focused civil society in the region, with AFS being its part and one of the lead carriers. The lessons learned in the previous period show that the civil society alone cannot achieve the effective action without networking in the society as a whole.

AFS works on establishing and nurturing the partnerships for the welfare of the children in the region, with the special emphasis on being open towards other sectors, i.e., the state institutions and the private sector[1].

Strategic objective 3: Creating the conditions for continuous following of the state of childcare and creating various evidence-based tools for successful advocacy for child well-being

There is an evident lack of evidence-based data on the state of children and families with children in the region. The initial step towards overcoming this problem is the development of the Child Protection Index, which opens up the opportunity to view the context of the situation of the children in the region’s countries, to make public the facts regarding the situation of the children in every country of the region. AFS will support further WV’s efforts in the Index development[2].

[1] The wide coalition of partners is built around the concrete issue. Apart from that, it has specific goals and tasks identified and defined in a way so that it is possible to deliver real human results. Regional cooperation is based on building up the societal child-focused platform, which directly benefits many children in the region. The AFS in this region especially deals with networking with and among actors, researching and advocating in the area of education, with the concrete task of creating the regional child-focused platform in the area of children early development.

[2] Apart from this, AFS intends to focus on data collecting and analysis of the situation of the children in the region, additionally researching topics that are in accordance with AFS’s appointed principles. A detailed analysis of the data in the sphere of early development of the children is needed, such as the availability of the preschool education, the existence and the quality of services for children in communities, the existence and the quality of cooperation between parents and teachers, participation of parents and children in the processes of decision making, concerning them, as well as dealing with the issue of the existence of early leaving of schools. Civil society, and above all the networks for children with whom the AFS cooperates, should act locally as the advocacy platforms, but they do so not efficiently enough, since, as the project funded organisations, they depend on the priorities that occur in the donor community, who does not always take great care about the topics of the improvement of the situation of children and families with children. AFS will continue to further the networks and their capacities for research and advocacy and to encourage the networking of the actors, both locally and regionally.