Fund English Courses for Girls from the Rural Balkans

By Olivera Rakic

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We have a bold mission to change the world! But we want to start small.

We are among those fortunate who benefited from access to good education which enabled us to have great opportunities in life. We are now committed to help others have the same chance and would love for you to join us!

Recent study by EBRD found that: "Inequality of opportunity is the highest in the Western Balkans and some Eastern European and Central Asian countries. In part, this reflects a failure to provide young people with relevant education and job opportunities. Place of birth – urban or rural – turns out to be an important driver of inequality of opportunity. Inclusion gaps also exist in regard to gender..." (EBRD, 2013). This suggests that if you are a girl born in the rural Balkans, your chances to better social status and quality of life are limited.

As we know from personal experience, education provides a way for young people to break out of the closed circle of poverty and lack of opportunity. In today's economy that means English and technology literacy.

We therefore decided to help young girls from rural Balkans dream bigger. We first want to start with a small number of high school students and help them learn English. As part of future initiatives (not funded by this campaign), we also intend to provide them with access to technology through computer courses and laptop donations.

The main three goals for this campaign are:

  1. Collect 790 EUR to finance English language courses for 4 girls from Croatia and Serbia. We will approach girls staying in high school dormitories or those who commute daily to larger towns (Slavonski Brod, Croatia; and Novi Sad, Serbia) which generally come from surrounding rural areas. Students will be chosen based on a short motivation letter.
  2. We will pay for a semester course (Feb - Jun, 2016) that prepares students to take a language certificate test. If students pass the semester test, we will continue to finance their study until the final certificate test subject to raised funds. In Serbia, the total cost per student per semester is 175 EUR (160 EUR for tuition, 15 EUR for books). In Croatia, the total cost per student per semester is 220 EUR (200 EUR for tuition, 20 EUR for books). We will fund as many students as the collected money allows.
  3. In Novi Sad, the chosen students will attend Lingua English language school; while in Slavonski Brod, the City Polytechnic language school. These schools are well respected in their regions. The students will also have a chance to meet their peers and enrich their social life.

We will spend all raised funds from the campaign for this purpose only! None of the money raised from this campaign will go towards administrative costs.

After this campaign is over, we will use students' feedback to understand their needs for future education. Further, we plan to use this experience to organize a larger initiative to equip students living in remote rural areas with technology and online courses for English language and computing.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with the students' progress, or want to know about our future initiatives, send us an email at:

About us:

Dragana Stanisic from Novi Sad, Serbia. Working in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (LinkedIn)

Olivera Rakic from Melenci, Serbia. Working in Utrecht, Netherlands. (LinkedIn)

Vjerana Spajic from Zagreb, Croatia. Working in London, United Kingdom. (LinkedIn)

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Team Members

Olivera Rakic

Dragana Stanisic

Vjerana Spajic