June 20, 2013

Easter action in the Republic of Srpska

On Friday, May 26, Charity organization Serbs for Serbs from Belgrade, headed to the Republic of Srpska to launch our charity’s Easter action for the area. In addition to the donations we had collected, an additional 91,000 dinars was given to us by the Serbian Brothers Help from Canada. Photo gallery is available HERE.

Vujevic family togther with Serbs for Serbs

Valentina Babic from Zvornik, who is a member of the association “Our Angels” that represents parents with four or more children, accompanied us on our visit to the first of five families. The Vujevic family was waiting for our arrival. We met Mileta and Ljubica and their ten children: Vladan (14), Dragomir (12), Petko (10), Slavoljub (8), Borka and Bosiljka (6), Milan (4), Radmila (3), Stoja (2) and Ratko (1).

The home of Vujevic family still building

This family currently lives in three rooms on the ground floor of their house. Mileta has been working on building an upper level addition to the home that will provide four rooms for the children. Mileta, an unemployed baker, also plans to open a bakery nearby. We gave them the promised 58,000 dinars for construction material. As well, we offered to help them with the purchase of additional construction material, as well as furniture for the youngest family members.

In the temporary home of Mihajlovic family

We next visited the seven-member Mihajlovic family, living in a rented apartment in Ugljevik. There we met parents Nenad and Renata and their five children: Nemanja (10), Zeljana (6), Jovana (4), Dajana and Srdjan (1). The family receives no regular income at the moment. Nenad is a former member of the Republic of Srpska Army.

Future home of Mihalovic family building in Ugljevik village

The family lived in refugee barracks until they were demolished. They then moved to the rental apartment and received money for six months of rent. Three charities have come forward to help this family build a new home nearby.

Thanks to the efforts of the charity organizations Nemanjici Ticino from Switzerland, Serbian Brothers Help from Canada (33,000 dinars for construction material) and Serbs for Serbs, this family will soon be in its new home.  

Milos Golic and youngest members for Cetkovic family

For our next visit, we were joined by our good friend and our Serbs for Serbs representative in Lopare, Mr. Vasilije Obrenovic. Together we went to Majevica to visit the Cetkovic family. With help from Serbs for Serbs, this family is currently building a house and we came to see the status of the construction. The children were excited to see us and wanted to show us their animals, including a cow we bought them in one of our previous actions.

A cow purchased two years ago by Serbs for Serbs

Home of Cetkovic family in constructions

Serbs for Serbs visiting Todorovic family

Another family in the Lopare municipality whom we visited, is the Todorovics.Тhis seven-member family, surviving on social assistance, lives in extreme poverty. This family of seven sleeps in two rooms, not on beds, but on the hard floor. Getting water for their daily needs is a challenge, as their supply comes from a well which is far from their home. 

Inside the home of Todorovic family

This family is desperate for help. Firstly, they need to dig a well as a water source. Secondly, they need beds so that the children no longer have to sleep on the floor. Social Services received a letter from the children asking for beds so that they could sleep normally, like every other child.

A group picture of Serbs for Serbs and Markovic family in Milino village

The final family on our visit to the Lopare municipality was the Markovics from Milino Selo. The family consists of father Nedeljko, mother Dragana, and their seven children: Adrijana (16), Aleksandar (13), Aleksandra (10), Ljubica (8), Valentina (6), Milica (4) and Nemanja (7 months). The family lives in a house provided by the government of Republica Srpska. Both parents are unemployed, and their oldest daughter walks several miles just to catch a bus to go to school. When asked how Serbs for Serbs could help them, the parents said it would be a help if they could be provided with a cow.

We are often asked what motivates us to devote so much of our time to raising money and delivering help to needy families. In the Republic of Srpska, we received all the motivation we needed. In one single day, we witnessed 32 little smiles full of joy and hope. We know that there are many, many more Serbian children we have yet to reach. They too, are looking for a reason to smile. With your support, we will reach them.

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