• December 2, 2022
 Isolated from the world, in the depths of the forests of the Pčinj district, they are begging for help for their children’s future!

Isolated from the world, in the depths of the forests of the Pčinj district, they are begging for help for their children’s future!

Once again, a road took us to one of the poorest municipalities in Serbia, this time the municipality of Trgovište. The purpose was to visit the Cvetković family of six, from the remote village of Novi Glog. Nature there is almost untouched due to the very location of the village, and the fact that there is almost no living soul there. If it weren’t for the four little Cvetkovićs, Jovan (11), Marija (9), Veljko and Vukašin (5), we would probably never have visited this beautiful but extremely harsh area, unless we were looking for adventure. And it was an adventure to reach them, and to find them smiling and so excited. A few kilometers of muddy mountain road, then another few hundred meters on foot downhill through the forest, were worth crossing to get to know them all.

After arriving at the dilapidated, yet tidy little house on the slopes of the forest, you cannot resist the first thought that comes to your mind, and that is, is it possible that someone can even live here? It seems that anything is possible. It is possible to raise four little ones in such conditions and to not succumb to the onslaught of all life’s troubles that arise every day.

This life is difficult, a person has to work hard for everything, but we hope for the best – father Dejan started the conversation with few words.

However, Dejan left the impression that he is not a man who gives up.  And an hour in his shoes would be too much of a burden for most of us.

It’s the hardest for us when it snows. Then we are cut off from everything. We all got corona in the winter, the municipality didn’t want to clean the roads, and they didn’t even want to send us a doctor. It was very difficult for us then and we barely survived. By the way, it’s very nice here in the summer, I was born here, the nature is beautiful, but when you have children, you think differently – Dejan worried.

Dejan is registered to work half day as an assistant worker at the local school where his daughter Maria is the only student. If it weren’t for Maria, the school would have closed, and he too would have lost his modest income.

That’s the pain. My children go to school separately. I drive almost a hundred kilometers a day in order to leave Maria in that school and Jovan in another school, because he is in the fifth grade. Next year Maria will also be in the fifth grade, so the school will surely be closed, and this position of mine will also be terminated – Dejan added with a slight indifference, aware of the inevitability of the whole situation.

Wife Marijana is Dejan’s second wife, with whom he has twins Veljko and Vukašin. Dejan’s mother also lives with them in this remote rural household. Apart from the part-time job at school, Dejan is mostly focused on growing and selling potatoes. It represents an important part of their income, and if it wasn’t for that, the big question would be how they would survive where they are.

We manage to produce several tons of potatoes, and then my friend and I drive them to restaurants and markets for sale.” In addition, we grow some beans, peppers, tomatoes and keep two cows and some pigs. All this just for our needs – Dejan explained to us how they manage to earn a living.

Distance from the school, snow, loneliness, lack of employment, it was not hard to decide how to help the Cvetković family, and Dejan further explained the situation to us:

My parents started building a house a few years ago in the village of Brestovac, which is located about 4 km from Vranje. We have roofed the house, but it is still far from being finished. This is our life’s desire, to complete the house, or at least to finish the lower floor so that it can be lived in and that we can move with our children from here. Everything would be easier for us then, and I would certainly find a job easier when I’m closer to the city.

And the wishes of the youngest, so simple and modest, yet unattainable.

We miss our friends, we have no one to play with. We would like to move to a new house, mostly because of our friends – Jovana and Marija told us.

The wishes of these children are the simplest possible. They come down to the need for the presence of peers, with whom they will share their childhood thoughts, joke, play and experience what it means to have a best friend. Even if we were to ignore the lack of life’s necessities that father Dejan listed for us , still a good enough reason remains for the family to move to their new house. The simple need of a child for companionship and friends, would be more than enough to motivate us to help the Cvetković family.

Through photographs and this text, we have tried, at least partially, to convey the oppressive living conditions affecting the Cvetković family. Nothing can effectively convey the loneliness of children.

All in all, we hope that this report can effectively move those who see it. Together we can provide the youngest Cvetkovićs with the chance to finally meet new friends, whom they can visit and play with whenever they want.

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