Mastercard, Eurobank, and Telenor have been recognised for their contribution to strengthening corporate philanthropy. Also acknowledged were Tamara Klarić and Bogdan Stevanović, recipients of AmCham’s HERO Award for 2019
The Trag Foundation presented its thirteenth annual VIRTUS Philanthropy Awards to companies, small and medium-sized businesses, and individuals in public recognition of their strategic support to community development and being role models to others.
The first prize for national contribution to philanthropy went to Mastercard, which had donated 250,000 euros to NURDOR, a charity helping children with cancer, allowing it to build accommodation for parents of children undergoing treatment in Belgrade as part of its initiative ‘Together for a house fit for every superhero’. Mastercard was also recognised for its overall contribution to women’s entrepreneurship and healthcare in Serbia.
Eurobank won the award for contribution to the local community for its support programme for gifted children, disabled children, and children without parental care, as well as for financing the purchase of teaching aids for the statistics and accounting lab at Belgrade’s First Secondary Vocational Business School.
The award for long-term partnership between the business and non-profit sectors went to Telenor for its 12-year commitment to working with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, on programmes designed to teach children and parents to stay safe online and prevent cyber-bullying.
Tamara Klarić and Bogdan Stevanović, developers of the socially-responsible mobile app Pruži Korak (‘Step Ahead’), received awards for individual contribution to philanthropy in 2019.
Apart from AmCham members, another six individuals and companies were also recognised. The special award for individual contribution to community development went to Marko Čikarić, a young teacher from the southern Serbian town of Prokuplje who dedicated himself to restarting full-time teaching at the Tovrljane village school after 25 years of inactivity. Milinka Ivanović, a retired nurse from Kruševac, received the special award for support to children from vulnerable social groups for her work making and donating toys. Finally, nine-year-old Matea Ballani from the northern city of Zrenjanin organised and supervised the refurbishment of lockers at the city hospital’s paediatric ward, collected and donated plastic packaging to the local animal shelter, and threw a birthday party for children without parental care – all of which earned her this year’s special young philanthropist’s award.