January 27, 2011

We delivered tractor to the Ekmečić family

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On Saturday, January 22, the representatives of the charity organization Serbs for Serbs from Serbia and the Republic of Srpska delivered the financially largest contribution since the inception of the organization! We officially delivered a new tractor, which has arrived several days ago to the Ekmečić family in the village of Prebilovci. We owe great gratitude to the Ministry of agriculture, forestry and waterpower of the Republic of Srpska, which has donated 14.035 KM (7.314 EUR) at the end of 2010 for this project. Our organization added another 2.500 EUR and that has enabled us to buy a new tractor sooner than expected.


Prebilovci is located about 30 km both from Mostar and the Adriatic coast. It has always been a Serbian village, and a symbol of suffering and martyrdom. During the World War II, 52 families were killed, and 36 homes were ruined. The killed were buried in collective grave, which represents one of the greatest tombs of the murdered Serbs in the World War II. After the slaughter, there were only 174 inhabitants left, out of more than a thousand before that. During the last war, most of the villagers went to exile, and the Ekmečić family is among the approximately 20 families that came back.

We met at the town of Pale with Dobrina Kusmuk the president of our organization from the Republic of Srpska. She and her husband accompanied us to Prebilovci. We received an amazing welcome. They were sincerely happy and excited due to our arrival, and welcomed us wholeheartedly. Despite their humble life, they organized a true feast, and their relatives, neighbors, friends and the local priest joined them. The host Miladin insisted on the pray and the blessing of our gathering and especially to consecrate a tractor. We delivered several books of Orthodox and historical theme to the youngest and finished the formalities of signing the contract of donation with Miladin.

Miladin is a former member of the Army of Republic of Srpska. He and his wife Sojka have five children: Bojan (19), the student of informatics, Bojana (16), Branka (10), Biljana (9), and the youngest and the cutest one Božana (3). This very hardworking family lives from agriculture. They grow potato, zucchini, tomato, peppers and onion, which they sell, and they grow other vegetables and some fruit for their needs. There was an article about Miladin in the local papers, because he is a producer who managed to produce “Watermelon for Guinness”. The land around the Neretva is very fertile, and Miladin knows how to use that.  

Our impression about them was very positive. They aren’t giving up due to the difficulties in life. Miladin and his son Bojan are growing the land given to them in lease, mostly from the neighbors living in Diaspora. Up to now they managed to do that only when they were able to rent a tractor, which made them dependent on someone else’s plans and free time. The land in their property is far away from them, so the tractor we gave them will now enable them to grow their land as well.

The reaction of everyone present assured us that we did the right thing by delivering the tractor. That was confirmed when we all saw Miladin’s determination to use this donation the best way possible. The tractor will surely help this family to become completely independent and financially stabile family in short notice. We should mention that this action has not yet come to its end. We need more money to buy the appliances for the tractor, so that Miladin could upgrade the production. We hope to get the appliances soon, which will end this important project. However, we have seen that all things said about Miladin and his diligence was true, because he is not waiting for our organization to buy everything, but he’s borrowing from others, thus not wasting the precious time for farming the land. 

This project of the organization was not only the largest financially, but also the most important. The buying of the tractor represented the fulfillment of our primary goal concerning all the families – to allow them to stand on their feet through work and production, a long-term perspective and financial independence. We got a promise from Miladin that he will use the tractor to help other Serbs from Prebilovci and nearby as well.

We left the Ekmečić family with the desire to meet them again soon. On our way back we stopped to see place where there were once the monument dedicated to the murdered Serbs in the World War II and the Orthodox Church, both destroyed at the beginning of the war 1991 by the descendants of those who killed the Serbs earlier. Despite the attempts to hide the evidence of the suffering of Serbs, a new church and the monument will be built again.

We will conclude by ascertaining that the Ekmečić family is not in extremely bad social position as is the case with some other families we are helping, because they have their home, and manage to send their children to school. Their condition is, however, very sensitive, and an accident, like the one last year, when Sojka was hurt, can destabilize them. The cows are being taken to a distant pasture. The renting of tractor was quite waste of time, and that is now over.

We thank all the donors again and also the Government of the Republic of Srpska. We owe special thanks to our representative Dobrina Kusmuk for all the things done. The project is not over yet, and we need additional donor help to complete this nice story.


Serbian Report

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