July 12, 2013

Serbs for Serbs in Hercegovina

Charity organization Serbs for Serbs recently visited Hercegovina. Our only visit to this area was in early 2011, when we purchased a tractor for the Ekmecic family. With the help of the Mostar Dobrotovor Charitable Association, and the Zahumsko-Hercegovina Diocese, we identified three families in need of our help. We pledged 3,000 Euros to help them with some much needed purchases.

Serbs for Serbs with family Stevanovic in village Rastani

After receiving a warm welcome in Mostar, we headed to Rastani, to visit the Stevanovic family. There we met Milan and Jelena and their two children, Nebojsa (19) and Nikolina (16). Both children struggle with developmental disabilities and attend a special school that can better meet their needs. Life for this family is difficult. The home they once had was destroyed during the war.

In conversation with Stevanovics

Milan recently lost his job, and the family’s only regular income is the disability benefit Nikolina receives. We offered to help this family by purchasing them an electric stove, and as more funds become available in the future, we will buy them several sows.

Family Pudar with Serbs for Serbs

After Rastan we headed to the village of Bun, where we met the seven member  Pudar family. The Pudars are a hard-working family, who is doing better than most families in the area. We determined that this family was not in need of our help. They are currently building an addition to their home. 

They also raise goats on their farm.

SFS with family Babic in front of their home

We next visited the Babic family in Lokve villageDalibor and Ljubica are raising three children:  Andjela (6), Luka (3) and Ognjen (2). This family was one of the first young families to move back to the village in search of a better future. Serbs for Serbs offered to buy the Babics a washing machine. As well, since most of their income comes from farming, we will endeavour to purchase a small tractor for them.

Serbs for Serbs with familly Krunic

The last family we visited was the Srdjan Krunic family from the village of Klepci. Like so many villages in Hercegovina, this village experienced much hardship during the twentieth century. The five member Krunic family knows this all too well. In addition to the parents, the family consists of three daughters: Aleksandra (11), Jelena (8) and Sladjana (2). 

Sladjana, Aleksandra and Jelena Krunic

The mother is expecting, and soon a fourth child will join the family. The father, Srdjan, has long been hoping to construct a roof for their home. Our initial offer to the Krunic family was to help in the procurement of construction materials for the roof. However, after further discussion with Srdjan, it was agreed that the purchase of a small, second-hand tractor might be the better way to go. With this purchase, the family will be able to further develop their farm, enabling them to make money for the construction material. As well, it will help provide a steady income.

Family Ekemcic with Serbs for Serbs

At the beginning of this article we made reference to the Ekmecic family from Prebilovci whom we helped a couple of years ago. This hard working family is doing well, and the tractor we purchased them remains in excellent condition. Bojan, the oldest of the five Ekmecic children, volunteered to help us reach needy families in the area and to get them assistance. Serbs for Serbs goal is to encourage more and more people to join us in the work that we do. Bojan heard our message and we very much appreciate his support.

Wherever we go, we make every effort to visit our churches and monasteries.  In the villages we visited in Hercegovina we met with the local clergy and added a new member to our charitable organization, the Dobrotvor Charity Association. We visited the Zitomislic monastery and were in Mostar for the slava of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.  There we were the honorary guests of His Grace Grigorije, the Bishop of Zahumsko-Hercegovina and Coastal Diocese.

The financial help we pledged to these families in Hercegovina is modest.  But, it is a start, and we hope that each year we can give more and do more for the needy families there.

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