January 22, 2015

Serbs for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija

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Report: SFS Belgrade /ACCOUNTS/ /PHOTO GALLERY/ /TRANSPORT/
Members of the Charity organization SERBS FOR SERBS visited 25 families in Kosovo and Metohija enclaves within new major campaign to help the remaining Serbian people. The estimated value of the overall help that is to be delivered to Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, including support to soup kitchens, amounts to around € 27,000.

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A monument to Milos Obilic recently placed in the center of Gracanica

With the generous help of friends from the Diocesan charity organization "Majka devet Jugovica", without whose help it would not be possible to carry out the charity activities on this scale, we first visited families in Gracanica. The visit began at the home of the single father Sveta Stankovic.

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Order of the “Majka devet Jugovica” for the deceased wife of Sveta Stankovic

Without wife who recently passed away, Sveta is raising his four children: Slavisa (18), Dejan (17), Jasmina (11) and Miljana (3). After a short conversation it was indicated to us that they need the most two double wardrobes and mattresses for children's beds.

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SERBS FOR SERBS with Stankovic family in front of their family home in Gracanica

After that we visited family of Dragan and Marina Stojanovic, who raise five underage kids: Andjela (13), Strahinja (11), Nikola (7), Jana (6) and Ognjen (2).

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Mother Marina and little Ognjen Stojanovic in her arms

This family lives in really difficult circumstances. Stojanovic family need a wood burning stove, a wardrobe, two bunk beds with mattresses, bath, toilet seat and a few goats for breeding.

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Icons awarded to families, the gift of the Church of St. George from Banovo Brdo

The last family we visited at the area of Gracanica is a family of Stosic Zoran and Ruzica who live in a household with two children: Dragisa (26) and Slobodan (21). For them, help in the form of a table and chairs was provided.

After Gracanica we come to Jovanovic family in the village of Livadje. In this family we witnessed perhaps the most difficult situation. Jovanovic family consists of parents Rodoljub and Ivana and son Lazar (9). Mother Ivana is mentally ill, while the cause of Lazar’s disease, characterized by difficulty in walking and undeveloped speech, is still unknown. For this family we provided a bed, wardrobe, refrigerator and a few hens for breeding.

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Mother Ivana and son Lazar in front of their family home in the village of Livadje

Harsh life stories of Kosovo Serbs continue to follow us also in Dobrotin in Trajkovic family. This family consists of grandma Gordana and grandpa Grujica, parents Dragan and Sanja and their four minor children: Miljan (12), Milica (13), Andjela (8) and Ilija (5). Father Dragan is bedridden due to a stroke, which he experienced recently, as well as due to a serious car accident that left huge consequences, when a car driven by Albanian ran into him, while the driver has gone unpunished for this accident.

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Dragan, the father, and Grandmother Gordana Trajkovic live in very difficult conditions
 
Unfortunately, the youngest member of this family also has certain problems, because he did not yet developed the power of speech. According to difficult life circumstances in which this family live, we intended for them: four beds, a wood burning stove, refrigerator and two wardrobes.

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The hand of encouragement for little Ilija Trajkovic who has not yet spoken

We continue with witnessing the inhuman living conditions of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, which as a result bring famine, pestilence and disease. Unfortunately, all this largely affect the youngest, which certainly did not deserve such a childhood. In the village of Donja Gusterica we arrive to household of Milivojevic family comprised of parents Dejan and Jelena and their two kids Lazar (6) and Marija (3). It is worth noting that in Dejan’s four brothers and his parents also live in this larger household.

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A group photo in front of the house of Milivojevic family
 
When we were in visit to Milivojevic family we found out that Lazar and Marija suffer from muscular dystrophy, which prevents them from normal movement. We will try to ease the difficult circumstances under which Milivojevic family live, by providing them with two beds, a water heater, two wardrobes, wood burning stove and tiles for bathroom.

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Little Lazar and Marija with the icon of St. Athanasius the Great

In the village of Bostane (Municipality Novo Brdo) we visited two families. Family of Stankovic Ljubisa and Ivana and their three little children – Aleksandar (12), Anastasija (8) and Pavle (4), and we decided to help them through procurement of interior doors, kitchen cabinets and bunk beds with mattresses for children, since part of the house was caught by a fire a few months ago.

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Pavle Stankovic shows his bed and the room where he sleeps

Not far from them we visited a hard-working family of Pavic Bojan and Radica. The family also includes three underage kids: Milan (13), Marina (11) and Marijana (8). This family is successful in breeding goats. In order to improve their production and enable a better life for themselves and their children they asked us to help them with building materials for the barn in which they could hold a number of new goats.

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Marijana Pavic shows her puppies

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SERBS FOR SERBS together with Pavic family in the family yard

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The old town and fortress – Novo Brdo

The road leads us further to the village Kmetovce. This young Naskovic family consists of parents Bojan and Olgica and little children Milivoje (8) and Emilija (6). As most needed Naskovic family indicated: bunk beds with mattresses, washing machine and a wood burning stove.

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Mother Olgica and son Milivoje with representatives of the organization SERBS FOR SERBS

In the village of Koretiste we are welcomed by family of Savic Milovan and Marina. They have two children, Andjelina (7) and Sofija (1.5). We found out that Savic family expects a baby soon, so we will help this young returnee family with wood burning stove, washing machine and two couches.

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Returnee family Savic in front of their family home

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Gifted icon of St. Cosmas and Damian, which celebrated by Savic family

We also visited the village of Zebince where we found another four-member family. Filipovic Zivorad and Vesna live with their two children, Andjela (12) and Aleksa (9). Filipovic family has indicated that currently the most needed appliances in their home are fridge, freezer, two sofa bed and an electric stove.

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Filipovic family and SERBS FOR SERBS in front of the family home in the village of Zebince

Also planned for receiving help is family of Milanovic Dejan and Jana from the Kosovo Morava Region, namely from the village of Sipasnica, who live in a household with two children. We were unable to visit Milanovic family personally, but on the recommendation of our friends from the “Majka devet Jugovica” we will provide them an electric stove.

We were then hosted by our friends from “Majka devet Jugovica” in the soup kitchen in the village of Prekovce. In addition to discussions about the current state of the needs of soup kitchens and generally about the life of our remaining people in the southern Serbian province, we agreed to help in the form of purchasing two cooling devices worth € 4700, in order to put cold storages into use, and thus improve the services of soup kitchens.

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Two cold storages delivered for the needs of soup kitchens in Novo Brdo

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Cold storages will be used for storing agricultural products that are grown on 15 hectares of church land in Kosovo and Metohija and through their sales soup kitchens will be able to acquire necessary funds for the purpose of procurement of flour, oil and sugar.

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Not far away, in the same village, we visited the family of Milic Vitomir and Leposava. Their son Aleksandar (28) returned from the Central Serbia to live with the family, while younger son Stefan (16) also lives within this household. Although not our target group, we put this family on the list for help because they once received into their humble home a single mother with her newborn baby to live with them for several years. Since they practically have no kitchen we plan to help them by procuring kitchen cabinets, tiles, sink and one wood stove.


Milic family and SERBS FOR SERBS in front of their family home in the village of Prekovce

In Novo Brdo planned for the delivery of help is the family of Kostic Ivan and Danijela who live in a household with four children: Aleksandra (12), Andjela (10), Andrija (5) and Irena (2). We will provide a plow for a tractor for the Kostic family.

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Kostic family on their farm in Novo Brdo

Another family that we were unable to visit physically, while it is planned to help them in the form of agricultural machinery is Simonovic family from the village of Jasenovik. The household includes grandfather Miodrag Simonovic, grandmother Zivotka, father Ljubinko, mother Danijela and children: Sanja (12) and Stefan (10). They will be provided with the rotating tiller for IMT tractor.

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Ljubinko and Miodrag Simonovic in front of the family home
 
At the end of the first day we arrived to a friend in Orahovac where we used the opportunity to visit the young couple, Kujundzic Janko and Ana, whom we helped by buying them a washing machine.

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Janko and Ana Kujundzic from Metohija municipality of with a new washing machine

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A group photo in front of the Decanska Vinica with father Marko and friends

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The second day of the activities we begin on the Liturgy at Visoki Decani, where, with the help of the brotherhood of the monastery, we delivered assistance for several returnee families from Metohija.

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SERBS FOR SERBS in front of the Visoki Decani Monastery with father Peter
 
The first family we visited is the Todorovic family from Gorazdevac, where in 2003 a massacre was committed against Serbian children by Albanian terrorists. Todorovic family has four little daughters: Ivona (10), Emilija (9), Ksenija (8) and Sofija (5). To this returnee family we have delivered aid in the form of refrigerator and wood burning stove.

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Todorovic family from Gorazdevac got a refrigerator and a stove

The next Metohija village which we reached is Vidanje, where we visited the family of Milosevic Goran and Tanja who a few months ago returned permanently to their home. Their four sons Jovan (16), Petar (14), Branko (11) and Mihajlo (8) also live with them in the household. To make their new start in an old home somewhat easier we delivered them a washing machine and bedding.

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Milosevic family from Vidanje received a donation in the form of washing machine

In the village of Berkovo we visited family of Banjac Sava and Ljubinka, who live in a household with their son Vesko (21). Due to several thefts by Albanians from neighboring villages, suffered by this returnee family, the agreement is to help this family by purchasing 100m of fences and poles.

After Berkovo road leads us to the village of Zac and family of Komatovic. We are helping another young returnee family consisting of parents Olivera and Slavisa and three underage kiddies: Denis (8), Andjela (5) and Nikolina (4) by providing them with an atypical type of help – delivery of metal poles and wire fence. In fact, almost all Metohija villages struggle with Shiptar thieves who target almost everything, from the larger livestock to agricultural mechanization. Similar, if not the worst situation is exactly in the village of Zac, so due to these reasons we were asked to help the Komatovic family in this way.

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We also stopped in Osojane where, in addition to spending time with friends of our organization we also met returnee family of Aleksandar Djuric. Aleksandar is a single father who is raising four small children: Andjela (16), Nikola (15), Anastasija (11) and Isidora (9). Aleksandar expressed his desire to engage in herding goats, and consequently we will procure the material needed for covering the stable for goats as well as three goats for breeding.

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Djurici from Osojane will soon expand their livestock

In addition to Djuric family, visited on the recommendation of Tot family, we used the opportunity to visit them also and help Gabrijel and Silvana who live in an apartment with their three children: Andjela (15), Nevena (12) and Oliver (11). We provided them with 7m3 of firewood.

The last stop on our journey is the village of Tucep, where recently the family of Romanovic Radoje and Sanja returned. Another harsh Serbian story we witnessed. The family lives in one container, with their ill son Nikola (28), who was suffering from cerebral palsy. Mother Sanja is a psychiatric patient, while the father Radoje recently got his leg broken. Indeed many misfortunes happened to the Romanovic family. Our organization succeeded at least to partially improve the grim reality faced by this afflicted family by delivering them a washing machine and electric stove.

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Romanovic family in front of the container in which they live

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The plan is to install new washing machine near the container in which the family Romanovic lives

We add that help was delivered also to family of Milan Pavlovic from the Metohija village of Belo Polje, which we did not manage to visit. We helped his family by delivering stove, washing machine and refrigerator.


A wood burning stove, washing machine and refrigerator for Pavlovic family

As part of the overall campaign, a significant help will be provided to the family of Ivkovic Ivan from the village of Straza which we have visited several times in the past. In the shortest possible period of time Ivkovic family will be provided with material for the construction of the roof structure in the amount of € 3,000.

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Unfinished house of the Ivkovic family in the village of Straza will soon get a roof
 
In the southernmost enclave of Strpce, a valuable help was sent for the family household of Vuksanovic brothers, Milan and Voja. Milan with his wife Dragana has kids Bogoljub (11) and Nikola (13), while Voja with his wife Sonja has daughter Aleksandra (12). For the purpose of upgrading the family home we helped Vuksanovic family by procurement of construction materials, several windows and entrance doors in the amount of € 1,500.


Delivery of construction materials for the Vuksanovic family


Hard-working host Milan Vuksanovic is already upgrading his new house

During visits to the families we shared a few bags of candies to the youngest members of families, 15 kilograms of honey, gift of friend of our organization Mr. Borisa from Guca, several packages of notebooks for school and a few icons, a gift from the church of St. George from Banovo Brdo.

We successfully finished another humanitarian visit to Kosovo and Metohija enclaves. Unfortunately, the grim reality is day after day the grimmer for our people in Kosmet. In such circumstances, the poorest always suffer most, and with them the youngest who for no reason live their lives without carefree childhood. Survival based on irregular social assistance, a number of known and unknown diseases, food in soup kitchens that are day by day closer to closing, and questionable security situation are the characteristics of a life of Serbs in the heart of Serbia. Simply put people abandoned by mother is forced to seek alms from the evil stepmother. It will not be difficult for us as long as we exist, to work day and night to provide even to single Serbian child the simplest blanket under which it will be warm, if we couldn’t do more than that, but we will never stop helping our people, and especially young ones.

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