September 24, 2012

September SfS action in Krajina

Report: Predrag Marinkovic, Serbia /SERBIAN REPORT/ /BILLS/ /GALLERY/
At the begining of September, a new common action of helping the endangered Serbian families in Krajina has been conducted. In the action we visited six families. The help was delivered for three families. In the next period, we will provide help for a total number of eight families. The initiative of our organization has  been supported and joined by the fraternal organizations by donating money – Serbian Orthodox Youth Innsbruck 1,000 EUR and Serbian Society Zadužbina from Slovenija 700 EUR. In the next couple of weeks, our organization will donate approximately 1,800 EUR for the needs of the families we visited.
 
 
The list of the help we provided and planned:
  • Washing machine
  • Aggregation
  • Chainsaw
  • Wood-burning stove
  • Freezer
  • Double decker bed
  • Chairs
  • Crib
  • Firewood
  • Groceries
 
The first part of the action was conducted in Lika. Our first stop was Korenica, in which we planed to visit two families. According to our previously agreed plan, we visited a six-member family Panić, whom we helped several times before. Father Milan is still having troubles with the Croatian authorities which are wrongly accusing him for the alleged war crimes, due to which he was forced to serve part of the prison sentence. One of the consequences of such situation is that he can’t find a regular job. Bearing in mind all of that, we decided to get them a proffesional chainsaw, so that Milan could work for a wage and thus provide additional income for his four children.
 
 
After family Panić, we visited a young three-member returnee family Šorak. They decided to come back to Korenica with a six-month old daughter Dajana. They live in a newly built apartment, which they use, but it is completely empty. We agreed to get them a washing machine. The father was at work during our visit, so we went with the mother in a nearby store, bought a washing machine, and with a discount, we received a vacuum cleaner. We hope that this humble help will improve the life of a young family.
 
 
The action continued in Donji Lapac. The first family we visited was a five-member family Rašeta. The family consists of father Dražen, mother Rada and their three children, Jovana (17), Nemanja (14) and Brankica (3). On a first sight we noticed that it is a hard working family. Both parents are currently unemployed, which is almost a fact considering Serbian returnees. Dražen is a war-disabled, but he is struggling for his family. He is finishing the works on a farm of goats they plan to open. Thus, they needed an aggregation for the farm, which we agreed to get them.
 
 
We continued our journey and visited family Kantar. The family consists of nine members, two brothers with their families and their parents. The couple Branimir and Irena Kantar have three children: Milana (7), Jelena (5) and Miloš (3 months). Branimir’s younger brother Milan also lives in a household with his wife Smiljana. Branimir is a car mechanic, and manages to earn some money for his family. The greatest problem this family is facing is an isolation of the house, because the family was able to provide an isolation of one part of the house. Therefor, we planed to send them a material for an isolation of the rest of the house.
 
 
We went to Gračac, but we didn’t spend much time there. Instead, we left the money to the friends of the organization who are helping our actions, to provide help for the two families in urgent need. One of them is a nine-member family Đilas, with seven minor children. The father of the family, Radislav, become ill a couple of months ago, and the family lost all the income. We decided to give 90 EUR for the urgent purchase of groceries. The second family we helped was the family of Milanka Jelača and her sister, whom we have helped several times before. The money we left will be sufficient for 5m3 of firewood for the winter.
 
Late afternoon we finaly reached Kistanje, in which we met the friends of the organization from that area, and visited the last two families in the action. Our primary plan was modified on the spot, so upon the call of the local priest from the Benkovac parish, instead of the families in Kistanje, we decided to visit two families in the villages near Benkovac.
 
The first family we visited is a five-member family Ćalić in the village Brgut, consisting of father Milan, mother Jasna and children Milica (7), Marko (6) and Miloš (4). Upon the return to their family home, the family faced a burned house and all the other objects. They moved into the object next to the house, which was once a local store, and which is also devastated. They live in three rooms. In a few months, the family will have another member. They are very humble, so except for the freezer, they didn’t ask for anything else, but bearing in mind their situation, we decided to provide also several pieces of furniture for the children.
 
 
 
The last family we visited was the family of which we had no information until we reached their village, but it turned out to be the family Žmirić, a returnee family from USA, which our representatives from Vienna visited two years ago, and helped. Father of the family, Dušan, welcomed us warmly, and thanked for the previous help of our organization. Since our last visit, their condition is slightly improved, because the state built a house for this nine-member family with seven minor children. Dušan has great plans for the family business, but there is a lack of money for the realization. Therefore, we agreed to get them a wood-burning stove, until we meet the conditions for the significant help.
 
     
After the hospitality in monastery Krka and the morning Liturgy we attended, we finished the visit to the Serbian families in Croatia.
 
 
The conclusion after each visit to the returnee families in Krajina remains unfortunately the same. They live in rarely populated areas, without opportunities for the regular jobs, abandoned by their mother country, maltreated by the state in which they live. Serbian families and Serbian children don’t have a bright future. The humble help of the state which took away everything from them, and the spiritual help of the local priests of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who share the same fate, are the only facts which keep the Serbs in those areas. There is a great need of the actions conducted by our and fraternal organizations. The actions which seem great, bring little help in the surrounding conditions. After each of the actions, we call upon the people of good will to join, help for themselves, or in cooperation with our organization, to support the Serbs to stay in their ancestral homes. The providing of certain help, that desire would become meaningful.
 
 
With faith in God!
Predrag Marinković

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