March 31, 2015

When aid reaches right hands

Report: Vesti online /RECEIPT/
The Stojiljkovic family with five children, from the hamlet of Berivojstica in the Golemo village, about thirty kilometers from Vranje, had been a wretched, poor and unfortunate family, before they received donations from benefactors from the diaspora, noble readers of the “Vesti” and the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs. Today they have become independent and happy, having used all aid received to make a better future for their children – they have found their feet by starting a business in goat-breeding, and finally they have repaired their unfinished home. There could probably be no better news for us in the “Humanitarian bridge” section of the “Vesti”, or for numerous people who had also been sending them a piece of themselves through their selfless contributions for months. In only six months, the head of the family, Slobodan (37), and his young wife, Sanja (28), managed to provide a more certain future for their five children: Luka (9), Lazar (8), Marija (5) and seven-month-old twins Petar and Pavle.

Not long ago, their home was filled with joy again, because they were visited by the representatives of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs, in charge of the southeast Serbia, with the local activist and laboratory technician, Novica Cvetkovic, and they donated them a wood-burning stove.

New wood-burning stove for Stojiljkovic family

“We’re thrilled because we’ve managed to repair our house in such a short time and generate some income so our children wouldn’t starve any more. I wish to thank all good people from abroad, our immigrants, who have given us new life and created prerequisites for a fresh start by making contributions. When we were first visited by the Vesti reporters, we only had one room. I gave birth to twins, who slept on a mattress, we struggled daily to provide milk for them, and we borrowed linen so I could make diapers for them. We lived on welfare and child benefit, which is the sum of 16,000RSD, or 140 Euros per month. Our main source of income was mushroom picking and when the year was good, we could afford to buy flour and other basic necessities. Today, having a flock of sheep, bought for us by good people from abroad, we have started to live off our work and our own hands. It was the goats, not the money that was at a forefront of our mind, so we could start making an income and live like all other people. Why expect charity when we are all healthy, thank God, and we can go forward on our own. All we needed was a little boost, and we got it from humane people,” says cheerful Sanja. 

Mother Sanja with her daughter, Marija, beside their old stove

Children gather flock

Thanks to benefactors from the diaspora, the Stojiljkovic family now has a flock, consisting of nine nannies and a ram. They provided food for them for the entire winter and started producing cheese. “Today we have several types: fresh cheese, ricotta cheese and cheese preserved in oil. We have conditions to store them in utility rooms in my home village of Tumba, at the foot of the Kukavica Mountain and that’s where the cheese production starts. We invite all people of good will, if they ever find themselves in this craggy area, to come and taste our cheese which is also theirs as well,” emphasizes the host, Slobodan.

Thanks to the CO Serbs for Serbs, who read about their unfortunate situation on the “Vesti” portal, the family was helped in a concrete way: the necessary interior works were done and the rooms where they could live were furnished, and they were provided with kitchen appliances. In this way, they got one more room, hall, bathroom, washing machine, cupboards, wardrobe, and now a wood-burning stove.

“We wish to thank all good people. Let the good God give them health and happiness in their lives. As much as they helped us, a hundred times more good they got in return. There’s nothing missing in our home today. We’re happy and satisfied. We’ve become a family in the true sense of the word. Hunger, sleepless nights and fear are far behind us and this is the biggest success for us,” say Sanja and Slobodan gratefully.

Hard-working and smiling Marija Stojiljkovic

The crown of love

Young mother, Sanja, tells us of the time Petar and Pavle were born. “I gave birth in hospital in Nis, on July 9, 2014. The birth wasn’t easy, that’s why I was transferred to Nis. We hadn’t planned on having twins, but it was God’s will. What’s important is that they are alive and well, and since they were born on the day before St Petar’s Day, we decided to name them Petar and Pavle. Back then, the five of us didn’t have enough money for food, let alone other things. Now the old rule reapplies that children are never an excess, but they are the biggest joy in life and the crown of our love,” says the housewife Sanja.

We invite all people of good will to continue supporting the work of the Charity organization SERBS FOR SERBS and thus help and give joy to numerous children in need.


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