In Serbia, Svratiste is a refuge for Belgrade’s street children, a place where they can warm up, wash up and eat; it is a drop-in center open daily to kids of all ages. A coordinator at Svratiste, Mina Lukic, says that the Covid-19 pandemic has made Belgrade’s poor even poorer, as it takes a toll on Belgrade’s economy. The prices of plastic and other scrap metal that the kids and their families collect to sell have dropped dramatically in recent months, shrinking the families’ already meager incomes. “We believe this is why we have more children visiting us than in the past,” said Lukic. “The kids that come to us are all aged 5 to 15, pre-school or other primary school children. What’s common for all of them is that they work in the street and live in extreme poverty.” Funded by donors and people who regularly bring in clothes and other aid, the group recently set up another center in a new part of town.

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