July 10, 2016

Successful Easter action in Macedonia

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The last and the latest Easter action of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs in the area of present-day Macedonia, formerly Old Serbia, was successfully finished. It included the help to four socially disadvantaged Serbian families: Krstevski, Vasic, Perovic and Guskin, with allocated funds in the amount of 900 EUR.

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Through the warm early mornings, we traveled again towards Porec to meet family Krstevski from the village of Latovo in the Makedonski Brod municipality in the western part of Macedonia. The previous action of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs also included that long-forgotten area, Porec – small Sumadija, the abandoned area where Serbian tradition and customs were once greatly cherished.

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On this occasion too, the route led through detour. Another road is officially nonexistent. The Porec area is wrenched and remote, unrelated to other roads. In order to reach that area, one must come from the western part of the country after Kicevo and move towards Makedonski Brod (formerly only Brod, South). It’s sort of a horseshoe. From that point on through fifty, now abandoned villages where there are only 6,000 souls, one is coming to the lake Kozjak, near the capital Skopje, on the other side of the mountain Vodno. It is leaned against the landscape with the beautiful nature from the western areas towards the central belt of the country.  The travel infrastructure is such that it is required to go detour, through Gostivar, Kicevo, to the village of Latovo along the Treska River.

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On this occasion the host Saso was waiting for us in Kicevo at the entrance to the town, where there used to be a well-known Army Barracks from the time of Yugoslav People’s Army. New mosques have sprung up all over the place. After the last local elections in the town, the mayor is Albanian. We went together to the store of white goods where we picked a refridgerator with the chamber, and other necessary items for the kitchen.

A break in the village of Latovo, the village of the Duke Micko is infallible. Hard-working Saso offered us his plum rakija, pouring a glass with a smile, knowing that it is a custom for the Serbs to drink plum rakija, but also that it is rare in Macedonia to taste good plum rakija except for vine rakija. Fish was already ready. The catch was his from the river that runs next to the village. The name of Porec originated from such occurrence: near the river.

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Family Krstevski provided with refrigerator with freezer and mixer for the kitchen

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Valentina and Saso Krstevski with the representative of the organization Serbs for Serbs

He is grateful for the help. According to him, his household, his wife Valentina and their three children will be able to use the refridgerator and the chamber because they need it now most. During our visit, Hristina (17), Saska (16) and Borce (8) were at school. We talked about their necessities for the future. In a poor home, said Saso, everything is missing, but he would like to have a motocultivator, for better and easier farming.

The next destination included in this Easter action of the organization Serbs for Serbs, who carefully record and help the forgotten Serbs in this small Balkan country, was a visit to a single mother Slavica Vasic (1967), born in Gnjilane, which she left in 1999 and found refuge in the Skopje suburb, in the village of Ognjanci near the town of Petrovac (named after king Petar).

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Slavica and Mirjana Vasic with new Alfa wood-burning stove

Slavica has three daughters: Dragana (25), and Natasa (23) that are already married, and Mirjana (20) who is living with her, but her biggest problem is related to the residency status because both she and her daughter are considered as foreigners. The Macedonian state refuses to give them citizenship or to issue the certificate of the identity card for foreigners.

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Slavica Vasic talked about her difficult refugee journey from Kosovo and Metohija

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With daughter Natasa, son in law and young granddaughter, we were welcomed and received thanks for the donation

Slavica has Serbian, and she recently received new Kosovo documents. Therefore, she also has problems with medical care, because she is everywhere treated as a foreigner. Slavica and her family were provided with a wood-burning stove Alfa Plam. With gratitude for the help obtained she said she also needed a two-seater with a bed and a hanging element for the kitchen.

The last two families we helped live in Skopska Crna Gora, more precisely in Kuceviste, and the hosts are known to us, because they have already been included in the list of families for help.

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Family Perovic with the donation of a new stove and basic foodstuffs

Family of Srecko and Ljiljana Perovic has four children: Anastasija (10), Svetlana (6), Petar (9) and Kristijan (4) and it has received help in the form of electric stove and basic foodstuffs: oil, sugar, flour, candies, hygiene... The oldest Anastasija also had a gift for us, a drawing she specially prepared.

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Mother Lenka and daughter Ivana Guskin with a new washing machine

Family of Zlatko and Lenka Guskin who have three children: Nikola (18), Aleksandar (16) and Ivana (12) were provided with a new washing machine. Father Zlatko once had a cow, but he says he had to sell it. He is now growing pigs and chickens, but he would like to buy goats because of his children. He had to sell the car recently because of the debts of the household. The biggest problem still remains the need for better medical care of the sick mother Lenka and for additional tests, treatment and surgery of which the family simply cannot find minimum money to make it happen.

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