Leave no one behind

Volunteering to help elderly people during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mionica, Serbia


As part of its support during COVID-19 pandemic, the Municipality of Mionica established a volunteering center to support elderly people in the municipality during the pandemic.


The population in the rural areas of Mionica municipality is mainly old, and the lockdown brought them many challenges by requirements to spend more time at home and lack of contact with family members.

Due to a lack of younger people in the surroundings to help them to buy necessary household supplies, old people in Mionica municipality lack access to the necessary services and products during the pandemic. Moreover, elderly people in the municipality of Mionica faced challenge to visit vaccination centers.


The aim of establishment of a volunteering center in the municipality by the local government is to support elderly people in Mionica during the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing their access to all necessary services and products and to increase the vaccination rates among elderly people.


The municipality disseminated information among young people regarding its idea to establish volunteering center and after receiving applications the selection process was started. The municipality selected volunteers based on the applications received, the main selection criteria was potential volunteer’s readiness to be actively involved in the activities planned by the municipality on the long term. The volunteers were equipped with the necessary knowledge, the city hall conducted thematic information and educational sessions with them to increase the knowledge and skills of young people. Currently the volunteering center is operated by more than 20 young people (volunteers) from Mionica municipality.

The volunteers visit all remotely situated houses in the municipality, asking old people about the problems and challenges they face due to the restrictions imposed and social distancing during COVID-19. After mapping the challenges elderly people face, volunteers find ways to support them. Local government is also actively involved in this process. Among others, the tasks of volunteers include going to green markets, drug stores, and supermarkets to do shopping for old people. Moreover, volunteers collect pensions for old people. In addition, volunteers support elderly people in vaccination by ensuring safe transportation of them to the vaccination centers.


With the help of the volunteering center, the municipality managed to provide care to elderly people (more than 1000 people) during the pandemic. The access to services and products for old people in the municipality of Mionica during the COVID-19 has increased. Moreover, the vaccination rates among old people have increased.

After the lockdown ended and the abovementioned activities became obsolete, volunteers still continued to visit the same old people, providing them with free vitamin and fruit packages (financed by the municipality) as a way of increasing resistance to the virus and limiting its spread. Moreover, they still support elderly people to visit vaccination centers. The municipality of Mionica is going to maintain this service during the COVID-19 pandemic and is open to share their experience with other municipalities as well.


The project could serve as an example to other cities, especially those who have challenges to manage crisis situations and are in need of external help. While establishing volunteering center it is crucially important the city to have a plan for responding community needs. It is recommended for cities who are aiming establishing volunteer Center to have a manager of the center who will organize, recruit and communicate with volunteers during the whole process. It is important the tasks of volunteers to be clearly communicated.

further information

Published: 29/08/2022


Ms. Iva Nikolic

Project Assistant at Mionica City Hall



Categories: COVID-19 Crisis Management Public Health & Public Services Good Urban Governance crisis management and disaster preparedness Public health Integrated urban development The social city
Regions: Europe Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe Serbia Mionica


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