BELGRADE – Largest Serbian diaspora humanitarian organization “28. Jun” President, Filip Filipi Jankovic, came under attack of the American public following the delivery of $1,5 million worth of humanitarian aid to Gracanica in Kosovo.
William Barrett, a correspondent of the famous American magazine Forbes, without a trace of evidence, has published an article in which he stated that instead of to Serbs in Kosovo, the aid was delivered to the Kosovo Albanians.
How the aid has reached the Albanians in Kosovo, Barrett’s text doesn’t explain. All he had to offer as a ‘proof’ of his claim was a statement that the hospital in Gracanica, that was the recipient of the aid, among its employees beside Serbs has also Albanians. Filip and his colleagues at 28.Jun were not only shocked with the outright lies contained in the text, but more so because of the obvious defamatory allegations of someone intent to invalidate the value of the donation for which they have wholeheartedly and selflessly fought for months on end to collect and deliver.
“To ensure that the aid enters Kosovo in the first place, we had to work for four months, because the Albanians were the ones to undermine the entry. And all because it was the largest ever donation to Serb populated Gracanica. It was a great victory for our organization because we have managed to rally the entire diaspora into a united front in order to help our Serb brothers in Kosovo. It was a first time that diaspora acted in such a united and coordinated way to help the motherland. I personally don’t know Barrett, and I don’t know what his motivation was to write such an article, but the intent to nullify our work is obvious, as is the defamation of our organization as a whole,” says Filipi for Serbian Telegraph.
Barrett went on to edit the text on the website 19 times in order to “tweek” his sentences in such a way to avoid possible libel case by the organization.
“The accusations on the account of our organizational work and Gracanica donation he has cited as statements of a certain Serbian, who I have found out tried to found his own humanitarian organization but has failed to do so eventually. In this way, Barrett has secured himself an alibi that none of the falsehoods about us are his claims, but of the Serbian whom he, presumably, quotes in his text,” explains Filip Filipi.
Despite all this, neither Filipi nor his associates were discouraged to continue their battle for the underprivileged Serbs, in particular those living in Kosovo, in Southern Serbia, Republika Srpska and Serbian Krajina in Croatia.
True to its mission, during the catastrophic Balkans floods in 2014, “28. Jun” has sent 13,500 kg of humanitarian aid, from Toronto to Belgrade, making it the biggest airlifted NGO donation.
In the course of four years of its work “28. Jun” has collected and delivered 170 tons of aid to Serbs across the Balkans. The organization was recently invited to participate in the first UN World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey, which was attended by 47 heads of state, numerous ambassadors and representatives of humanitarian organizations from around the world.
“We are aware that there are abuses of humanitarian campaigns, but our organizational policy is based on honesty and integrity. We have successfully inspired Serbian youth, guiding them along a positive path of necessity to assist our needy brothers and sisters in the motherland. And we will continue doing so,” says 28. Jun President.
Over the years 28. Jun was supported by many public figures. Among them are: Serbian tennis player Jelena Jankovic, UN Humanitarian Affairs head Valery Amos, American Congresswoman Melissa Bin, Serbian diplomat Vuk Jeremic, World’s no.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, Serbian film director Emir Kusturica, and Virgin Group founder, Sir Richard Branson.