Humaneness is part of every person’s character. Some pay more or less attention to it, depending on the level of difficulty of their life circumstances, and my mission is to awaken as many people in this region as possible and motivate them to nurture their humaneness towards themselves, and particularly towards others, says Vojkan Krstić.
How did you find your calling?
Churchill said “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. That’s the motto that leads me. Although I love my land of Serbia the most, I have great respect for our neighbours and strive for the activities I implement to be represented regionally. We live in times when one malicious thought or statement is enough to disturb the demons of the past. I agree that we can’t turn back time, though we perhaps shouldn’t forget it, but I’m sure that it’s necessary to show greatness by offering a hand of respect, cooperation and reconciliation.
What does the Serbian Resque Center represent?
This is an organisation which, in response to the catastrophic flooding of 2014, brought together big-hearted people. Our team has since then comprised 124 men and women who are ready at any moment to help the government sector in the event of emergency situations, natural disasters and technical/technological incidents.
We’re also here to provide training in the administering of first aid and the handling of special equipment, or to provide courses in the field of humanitarian de-mining.
I will continue with humanitarian activities as I have to date – spontaneously and from the heart. I have a special wish to visit children in Kosovo and Metohija and hope to realise that wish soon
A special case is that of Zenica, which you visited recently.
I got the idea of visiting Zenica after talking with a priest who was once employed at Zenica Prison. Some described that as a historic moment, but given that I’m a man by nationality, I wanted to use this gesture to offer a hand of friendship and show that it is necessary to build bridges for everything. I donated to Zenica Prison, which hasn’t been renovated since its inception, a gym and medical equipment. The applause I received from almost a thousand people – staff and prisoners, among whom almost 30 Serbs, 40 Croats and more than 500 Bosniaks – showed me that the idea of reconciliation between the three nations is realistic and possible.
Alongside your humanitarian work, you’re also a very successful businessman. When it comes to business, would you change anything in Serbia if you could?
As an athlete, I achieved remarkable successes at an early age, so I didn’t have an existential need to also try my hand in the private sector. However, the positive changes in the business climate, the growth of investments over the past several years, as well as the active commitment of the administration to promote Serbia as a serious economic potential, all motivated me to expand my professional horizons, and I wasn’t mistaken in doing so.
Today I advise all the entrepreneurs I know to also start from themselves first because by investing further in our country’s private sector we are undoubtedly investing in our children’s future. I invite them, in particular, to contribute to the happiness and joy of those who need help. As I always say and believe in it honestly, he who is above sees and measures everything, and returns that when it’s most needed.