• June 19, 2024
 EAGLES ARE THEIR NEIGHBORS – two beautiful children, Lutka (12) and Ana (11), in a mud house in the village of Svinjište! (video)

EAGLES ARE THEIR NEIGHBORS – two beautiful children, Lutka (12) and Ana (11), in a mud house in the village of Svinjište! (video)

The mushroom picking season, when my sister, brother and I collect and dry mushrooms, has just ended. When we’re not studying, we help mom with the housework and dad with the farming – says hard-working, unusually named, Lutka (12), standing in front of an old and ruined mud house.

In addition to Lutka, Dušan (13) and Aleksandra (11) shyly approach us and invite us to enter the house. A long rectangular room with a dirt floor and worn furniture is both a kitchen and a living room. A ceiling full of patched holes, which looks as if it will give way at any moment, causes concern about what may happen in the near future.

“We live as we must, but we believe in God!”

Modest and calm, father Zoran Rašković welcomes us, as is customary, with homemade brandy. He has been aware of the work of the charity for several years and says he is happy that we came to their modest home. Almost 30 years ago, his parents sent him to Belgrade for schooling. He graduated from trade school and worked in construction until the company shut down. Due to a lack of work, a spinal injury sustained at work, and the need to take care of his ailing parents, he returned to the village. He worked on the land, cut trees in the forest and looked after them. In the neighboring village, he found his wife Ivana, and then the children arrived.

The house was built sometime before the Second World War and was only supposed to be an extra building, like a barn. We have electricity, I introduced technical water some time ago, and we take drinking water from a well. The roof once essentially fell in, so we patch it up from time to time – says Zoran about the living conditions.

They have large meadows, pastures and forests, so their primary source of income is agriculture. They also keep pigs, cows and a garden for their own needs, so at least they don’t lack food.

the eagles are our neighbours

Eagles nests on the tops of huge trees, like wide canopies, protect their home from unpredictable winds. As Zoran jokingly says, they are their neighbors. The village of Svinjište, which borders the municipalities of Kuršumlija, Podujevo and Medveđa, can only be reached by tractor or powerful all-terrain vehicle. In winter, when it snows, it’s almost unimaginable. Members of the charity Serbs for Serbs experienced a real adventure to get to the house of the Rašković family, completely isolated on the slopes of the Radan mountain.

“I am sorry that my husband and I are not in a position to afford our children better living conditions.”

With a proud voice, mother Ivana tells us about the children. Lutka is an excellent student with all A’s, so they hope that in two years they will be able to afford to have her follow in her father’s footsteps and continue her education in Belgrade. Together with her brother Dušan, she also won awards at school running competitions. This did not surprise us because it takes them about twenty kilometers to get to school, and they travel a good part of the way on foot.

They are used to these conditions and, unfortunately, don’t know any better. They are so modest that they always say that they have everything and that they don’t lack anything – mother Ivana tells us.

Even though they are still children, they act and think like adults. They matured long before their peers did. It is completely clear to them that the whole family has only 9,100 dinars in child allowance as a secure income, so they help their parents as much as they can. And with jobs that their friends from the city have probably never even heard of…

Lutka (Serbian: doll), was given her grandmother’s nickname. She also looks like her grandmother. Her brother and sister smile and say that they find it very amusing that their sister has an unusual name.

Moving closer to the school, and having a tractor with attachments, would mean the most to them. The Charity Serbs for Serbs is launching a major aid campaign, to provide the Rašković family with all they need for normal living conditions. Belief in the ultimate victory of good, let Lutka, Ana and Dušan spend next Christmas in a new house!


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