May 15, 2012

SfS visiting the Raška area

On the last weekend of April, the activists of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs conducted a charity-informative action in Raška area, with two goals: to get to know the endangered Serbian families, who haven't received our help so far; to begin the project of building the house for the Balović family from Rogozna. We were able to fulfill both our goals, and we also made a concrete plan of helping the endangered Serbian families in Raška area for the next year.
On Friday, April 27, with the help of our branch from Novi Pazar, we visited two families.
The first one was a five-member family Slavković from the village Pljevljani near Novi Pazar. The head of the family is Mrs. Ankica Slavković, who lives with her three children: Sara (3), Ivana (15), Ivan (20) and her brother in law Dragoš. Family Slavković wasn't an endangered one until a few months ago, but several members of the family died since December: Ankica's mother in law, Ankica's husband and a brother in law. Dragoš is a disabled person (he lost both hands due to the frostbite), and he has a minimal retirement, and Sara receives a humble child benefit of 5.000 dinars per month. The family has a piece of land. Their greenhouse was entirely ruined during the harsh winter, so they might not have vegetables, which was most of their menu. We decided to get them a new greenhouse and several hens, and then consider the potential further help.
We visited a seven-member family Sendrić in the same village. Milivoje and Anita have five children: Svetlana (24), Mirjana (23), Milena (18), Nemanja (8) and Isidora (5). The family lives from a child benefit (4.800 dinars for two children), plants wheat and owns a cow and 10 hens. The family told us they could use household appliances (a refrigerator and an electric stove), and the animals would be welcome (a pig and especially a cow).
After the liturgy in the Monastery Sopoćani, we visited the rest of the families on Saturday. Two of the families live near the monastery, and the brotherhood and iguman Teoktist help them whenever they can.
A four-member family Milošević lives in the village Doljani. The father and the son are working in Belgrade for a wage, while the mother Gordana and daughter Jelka (23) are on the estate. Jelka has a brain tumor, which was operated, but her mother needs to take care of her. They have 9.000 dinars of social benefit, and occasional income from the father. They have a piece of land, but they could use about 30 hens and appliances (a refrigerator is broken, and their beds are very bad).
About 10km from the monastery, in Sebečevo, we visited the poor family Ilić. They live in a „house“ made of wattle and mud. The family consists of two students, a high school pupil, father, mother and a grandmother. Stojana, Vita and Slavo live together with the children Mladen (24), Slađan (22) and Dragan (17). The parents are working for a wage, but their income is insufficient, so they seek help from the monastery. The house is in a bad condition, without the bathroom, the beds are very bad, and there is almost no household appliances. The family owns several goats and a cow. It is the only Serbian family in the surrounding.
The children used to be good students while they were able to go to school, and now they are left to the poverty, and their future is uncertain. The oldest Mladen is suffering from mental disease. He is being treated in Kraljevo, and he has been there for three times so far. Slađan is a student of the fourth year of the Faculty of economics in Novi Pazar. He needs to walk from home, since he doesn't have the money for the trip. The mother used to work in a footwear factory, but it was ruined a long time ago. The father is obviously mentally unstable. The grandmother is mentally stable, and she is a pillar of the family. The solution to their situation is an urgent project, and requires a lot of planing. It would take a lot of effort in order to help this family.
After two hours of drive we went to the six-member family Balović from the village Rajetiće. We started making an arrangement for building a house. Tihomir Balović, the head of the family, brought an artisan and an assistant, and a person who should bring the water into the house. Mr. Radoš Sendrić from Novi Pazar, a friend of the organization, took the responsibility to conduct the project, and we would like to thank him.
We made the list of the necessary material, concluded the agreement for the working labor, and the digging of the foundation could begin. Within the next few weeks, the material should arrive, so that the slab could be set, and the walls could rise.
Mr. Radoš should be intermediary between the organization, which is financing the fees, and the artisans. We should also thank Mr. Sulejman, who brought excavator on his expense, flatten the terrain, set the ground, and left strong and postitive impression on all of us. We used the opportunity to spend some time with the family, and then we left on Golija.
Our first stop is a seven-member family Komatina from the village Radaljica. We have helped the family several times before, and now we talked about their stable. The harsh winter turned down the roof on the stable, so they should fix it before autmn. We agreed to get them the material for the repair, and possibly some animals, and the family could become financialy independent.
The last family we were able to visit, was the family of Milojica Šarac in the village Dojinoviće, on the opposite side of the mountain Golija. We helped this family several years ago. They now need serious help. Father Milojica is a widow, and he has five children: Rodoljub (31), Miroljub (28), Milica (22), Milanka (17) and Milka (17). All the children are healthy except Milanka, who has problems with sight, and who is an epileptic.
The family has an income of 7.000 dinars per month, has about 50 sheep and 2 cows, but their life is difficult. They need household appliances, above all beds and an electric stove. The house consists of the old and a new part. The ceiling in the old part of the house (where they sleep) is made of mud and wattle, and it could fall. The house doesn't have the water nor the bathroom. The priority is the reconstruction of the old part of the house, bring the water into the house, and buy several animals more, so that the family gets better living conditions.
We should mention other activities of the organization: strenghtening the cooperation with the brotherhoods of the monasteries Đurđevi Stupovi, Sopoćani and Crna Reka, symbolic help in bulding the sport terrain in Deževa, and the support for the local football tournament.
With the faith in God and Holy Serbia,
Bojan Ilić

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