Vision for Serbia continues as political coalition struggle begins

Jan 2007
Serbia , January, 23 2007 - While the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, (SRS) has claimed victory in the first elections in Serbia since the dissolution of the State of Union between Montenegro and Serbia, World Vision and AgroInvest are committed to striving for 'life in all its fullness' for the people of Serbia.

Although the SRS have taken 28.5 percent of the vote, they are not expected to find partners to form a governing coalition.

Economic reforms, EU membership talks which have been frozen since May, addressing the stalled co-operation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, and the UN proposal for the final status of Kosovo will all be major issues facing the new government.

With over 7,000 microcredit clients in Serbia, the micro finance institution AgroInvest, founded by World Vision, plans to become an important player in the sustainable development of the country, with a focus on rural families.

'Economic development alone, does not bring 'life in all its fullness', therefore we will address community and spiritual development as well,' said AgroInvest National Director Kyhl Amosson.

'We need this holistic approach,' said Milanka Radonjic, Agroinvests branch-office manager in Kraljevo. 'Serbia is in a financial, a moral, and a political crisis. We had war over the past 16 years and there is no confidence in the future.'

Working with World Vision's commitment to a life of fullness, Amosson is planning to set aside a percentage of the microfinance revenues each year to invest in the development of rural communities. Existing village associations will be trained and involved in setting priorities and developing programs to improve social cohesions, village and spiritual life. The focus will be on health and education. He is looking for ways to work with the Churches as well.

In doing so AgroInvest is continuing to integrate community development practices into the micro enterprise development business.

The majority in Serbia has now voted for forces that are democratic and pro-European to work itself out of a complex crisis. With micro-credit as well as social and spiritual development activities integrated, AgroInvest and World Vision support that recovery process.

Source : Reuters AlertNet

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