January 20, 2012

The holy land must be guarded!

The representatives of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs from USA and Serbia conducted 13th in a row charity action of the help to the Serbian families on the holy Serbian land – Kosovo and Metohija. In the scope of the big Christmas action, conducted in the Balkans, the accent has been put, as it has been the case so far, on the southern Serbian province. Serbian people, both north and south from the river Ibar is left to the will of God, and forgotten by its fatherland for which it is still fighting, enduring and suffering. But it is not forgotten by its brothers!
The help our organization provided is as follows:
·         wood-burning stove: 11
·         refrigerator: 9
·         electric stove: 3
·         couch: 18
·         table: 7
·         chairs: 36
·         closet: 8
·         washing machine: 5
·         kitchen-sink: 5
·         laminate: 65m2
·         water heater: 2
·         washing machine with caldron: 2
·         goats and hens
·         tractor plow
·         clothing and footwear (Serbia and USA)
·         sweets
·         medicines for Osojane in the amount of 110.000 dinars
·         reconstruction of the house for the Filić family
Christmas action in Kosovo and Metohija was supported by the Circle of the Serbian sisters from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Serbs from Windsor (Canada), who were gathering the money for the action in the donor evening. It was also supported by the great number of donors from Serbia, Balkans and all over the world. We use the opportunity to thank them on the financial donation and the donation in goods.
We started the action in the rainy afternoon on 11th of January 2012, when we commenced our journey from Belgrade with great amount of clothing, footwear, blankets, toys, sweets and books we brought for the families we planed to visit. After arriving in Zvečan, we took a rest for a couple of hours so that we could continue towards Gračanica early in the morning, to meet our great friends from the Charity organization The Mother of nine Jugović, without whom this action wouldn't be conducted.
Our first stop was the town of Štrpce, completely isolated in the south of Serbia. We visited five Serbian families in Štrpce: Pavletović, Kostić, Đorđević, and two families Tanasijević.
The first family we visited was a three-member family Pavletović, consisting of the father Veselin, mother Tatjana and their daughter Anastasija (5). In an accident which took place on 9th of May 2011, ther family home was burned, but now it is almost completely reconstructed thanks to the help of the municipality. There is nothing in the house but walls and a floor, so we decided to get them the necesarry elements for the household: wood-burning stove, combined refrigerator, 2 couches, closet, table and chairs and a washing machine. That will enable them to live in their home, because they are on their relative's house at the moment.
The next family we visited was the family of Stojimir and Ljiljana Kostić, and their three children: Anica (19), Ljubica (18) and Blagoje (15), all highschool pupils. The parents are unemployed, so the family lives from the social and child benefit. With the help of the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija, they managed to build a house of 50m2 next to the temporary house they live in now. The new house needs water and electricity. Like in the case of the previous family, the house is completely empty, so we decided to get necesarry household elements as well: wood-burning stove, kitchen, chairs, combined refrigerator, 3 couches and two closets.
In the vicinity of the Kostić family we visited the family home of the Đorđević family, consisting of the parents Marko and Stojanka and their three children: Kristina (4), Katarina (3) and Milorad (1,5), and grandmother Milica (62) lives in a household with them. The family lives in a house that was built over 100 years ago, and it seems it might be crashed down in any time.
They managed to build a new house on their estate with the help of the municipality, but it needs several more construction works in order to become functional. Therefor, we decided to get them a laminate (65m2), wood-burning stove, 2 couches, a closet and a kitchen. The family is growing domestic animals, and they asked if we could get them a cow to become economically independent.
The last two families we visited in Štrpce were the families of the brothers Ranđel and Slaviša Tanasijević. Ranđel lives with his wife Jelena and four children: Jovana (13), Ivana (10), Tijana (8) and Jovan (5) in one room, while the rest of the house has only the basis. Due to the problem of the living space, we agreed with the host to help them in finishing the house, bathroom, and another room for the children at first, and the rest of the house later.
Slaviša Tanasijević lives in the same yard with his wife Dejana and three children: Aleksandar (13), Anđela (12) and Tamara (8). They also live in humble conditions, so we decided to get them a refrigerator, wood-burning stove, couch and a water heater of 40 litars.
We also visited the ambulance in Štrpce, and the employees told us that the state pharmacy hasn't recieved any medication for the last 9 months, so the Serbs must buy the medicines in private pharmacies. Therefor, we decided to try to satisfy at least part of the needs of this pharmacy, since Serbia and the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija can't (or won't) do that.
We spent the night in Gračanica, and prepared for further visit to the families. We spoke to the bishop of Raška and Prizren, Teodosije, and agreed to develop small economic facilities on Kosovo and Metohija to secure the job and income to the families. That could also enable partly return of the exiled and expelled Serbs on their homes, where they could work. All the projects will be conducted in cooperation with the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren.
After the blessing for our further work, we moved towards the municipality Novo Brdo, where we visited the family Dičić from the Straža village. Father Milovan and his wife Violeta lives with their children Jovana (13), Jadranka (12), Marina (10) and grandfather Ilija (77), grandmother Ljubica (76) and their cousin Dragan. The family lives in difficult conditions, without the water in the house, which could be crashed down in any moment. We agreed a temporarily help for this family, the household elements: wood-burning stove, washing machine with caldron, table and chairs. We also brought tractor plow and several goats and hens to provide them better conditions for everyday life. The family will need a new house, and it will cost over 13.000 EUR.
The next family we visited was the family Perić from the Vitina municipality. Father Zoran lives with his wife Božana, children Srđa (18), Maja (15) and Lidija (10), and grandmother Bosiljka (90) lives with them as well. The situation in the house is very bad. We decided to provide them wood-burning stove, washing machine, couches, table and chairs, closet, refrigerator, bathroom tap, and perhaps we will get them several hens.
The next family we visited in the Vitina municipality is the family of Srđan and Jelena Pržić, who have two children: Anastasija (3) and Kristijan (1,5). The family lives in a ruined house, without bathroom. We will get them a wood-burning stove, refrigerator, washing machine, table and chairs. There is a possibility, if we raise enough money, to help them build a bathroom and buy them a cow.
Mother Jelica Simić lives with her three sons, Saša (33), Ivica (30) and Ljubiša (29) and daughters Sanja (20) and Maja (24). They live in humble conditions, but they manage to survive somehow. We brought them a washing machine, couches, table and chairs.
In the house of the Ilić family, a single mother Milijana lives with her daughter Anastasija, whom we visited in the previous Christmas action 2011. There are also Vladimir and Srebra and their children Stefan (6), Tijana (12) and Sava (16). We provided them a washing machine with caldron (because they don't have the water), refrigerator, table and chairs and wood-burning stove. In order to bring the water from the well to the house, a pump is required, and we will try to get it in the next action of help to this family.
Nebojša and Vera Stojković have four children: Sanja (14), Maja (12), Dostana (10), Anđela (5), and the fifth child on the way, because Vera is pregnant. We provided sink, couches, refrigerator, closet and we also helped them to close the outer door in order to get another room in the house. They told us they could grow a cow, but we will have to postpone buying of a cow due to the lack of money.
The last two families we visited in the Vitina municipality were Branković and Cvetković.
Family Branković consists of the father Trajan and mother Violeta with their four children: Aleksandra (17), Zorica (16), Sanja (13) and Tijana (6). We agreed to get them: wood-burning stove, closet, sanitary elements for the bathroom, table and chairs. We should emphasize that the family is trying to finish the house on their own, and that they need any help they could get.
Zoran and Vera Cvvetković are raising four children: Božidar (20), Miljan (17), Milan (12) and Andrijana (9). We brought them: refrigerator, washing machine, showcase, sink and electric stove.
After visiting the families we returned to Zvečan and welcomed the Orthodox New Year with our friends. Our friend, father Bogomir Stević, asked us to provide help for the church of St. George in Zvečan, wood-burning stove, water heater, sink and electric stove.
Early in the morning on the following day, together with our friends from the Foundation of the Law school, „Smile on gift“, we went from Kosovska Mitrovica to the village Osojane in Metohija. We donated the holiday packages to the children in the elementary school Radoš Tošić, and witnessed a touching scene, when the pupils, as a sign of their thank, sang a song Far, far away (Tamo daleko), in the presence of their parents, relatives and the soldiers of KFOR. After a short break, we went to the ambulance in Osojane and donated medicines and medical supplies, which should be enough for the following several months.
We sent goodbye from our friends from Osojane, and „Smile on gift“, who went to Orahovac and Hoča. The representatives of the SfS went to Peć and the Patriarchy, and talked to the sisterhood about the history of our sanctuary.
Near Peć, we visited the village Belo Polje, where there are only a dozen of Serbs. After that we visited the monastery Visoki Dečani, then back to Mitrovica and Belgrade, where we arrived early in the morning.
The summary of the action on Kosovo and Metohija is as follows: the state of Serbia is absent, and its institutions are absent too in the south of the holy Serbian land. Charity organization Serbs for Serbs, in cooperation with the Eparchy, the organization Mother of nine Jugović and other fraternal associations can provide urgent need for the endangered Serbian families up to a certain level, but the institutions are very much needed to improve the living conditions of the remaining Serbs. We don't want to finish our action in a pessimistic behaviour, so it is going to start, in cooperation with the local population, Church and all the organizations and associations worldwide, with the preparation and inception of the small economic production facilities, to enable the employment of capable workers and contribute to the survival and return of the Serbian population to their homeland.
Until we realize the big projects, we will continue to help to several families all over Kosovo and Metohija. Although we managed to assemble over 300 donors from all over the world, the estimated budget for this action was 20.000 EUR. After the increasing of the amount of money in the next period, we will finish one after another financial constructions.
Charity organization Serbs for Serbs wants to thank again to all the donors and friends of the organization which allowed us to provide necesarry fraternal help and support to several dozen families and Serbian children.
Children are our future! No surrender!
With faith in God,
Igor Rašula

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