COVID-19  Serbia Project #46298

Coronavirus Relief for Children in Serbia

by Pomoc deci
Coronavirus Relief for Children in Serbia
Grateful and Happy Andjela and Aleksandar
Grateful and Happy Andjela and Aleksandar

 

Two years ago, a 13-year-old girl felt completely helpless. Both her parents lost jobs at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in Serbia and they couldn’t pay for her little brother’s school meals any more. Andjela did not mind being hungry herself at school, but she couldn’t look at her three years younger brother going away from his friends at school breaks and standing alone in the school yard because he was the only one not getting the school meal in his class. She looked up “organisations helping children” on internet, found our organisation and wrote us a letter. “My little brother and I go to elementary school in Kragujevac. Our parents lost their jobs and my brother Aleksandar is often hungry now because our Dad and Mom cannot pay for his school meal. Could you, possibly, help us. At least him, he is younger and needs it more and I do”.

We turned to you and asked for donations to help Andjela and Aleksandar, but also other children in the similar situation. You responded! With the donations you gave us, we paid school meals till the end of that school year for both of them and for other 35 children throughout Serbia. And we have continued supporting them with school meals and school supplies needed.

Today, Andjela is in the Vocational Secondary School studying for a pharmaceutical technician and Aleksandar is in his final year of the elementary school. They are both very good pupils, but Andjela is also volunteering with us and helping reach out to those children in need who do not know who to ask for help. “I really want to help others like you helped me. When I wrote to you, I almost did not expect even an answer, let alone help and understanding. I know how much it meant to me when you said you would help not only my brother but me too. Even today, I know I can turn to you if things go really wrong and we cannot find a solution. And I promise that the moment I start earning some money, I will donate to help children in need and to help you bring hope to them”. This brave girl also understands that it was YOU who enabled us to help her. "I wish I could give a hug to every single person who has helped you help us and all these other children. Please, thank each and every one of them on our behalf!", she told us when we asked her to send us a photo for this report.

Please, consider donating to our project so that we can help children and their families that have been suffering during this pandemic. And mention us and what we do to your friends and colleagues. Every small donation counts.

With Gratitude,

Yours Sincerely

Pomoc deci Team

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Milica and Milos happy and healthy again
Milica and Milos happy and healthy again

The holiday season and the times of sharing and giving are always tough for the people who cannot afford even the necessary things for their survival, but since COVID-19 started slowing and closing businesses, especially small ones, more and more families have been barely surviving.

You have been helping us make it a bit easier on the children in these families, and your donations have brought many smiles on children’s faces. “I jut wanted to thank you on behalf of myself, my little brother and our grandma for helping us get the money for my brother and grandma to go to the doctor’s in Leskovac by bus. If you didn’t send us the money, I don’t know how my brother would make it to the hospital and get better. I was afraid for him and I was afraid he would not survive”, wrote a 13-year-old Milica to us, a month ago. Her nine-year-old brother Milos caught virus, but in their village, there was no doctor or hospital. For going to the nearest town, they needed to take a bus, and they had no money for the bus tickets. He stayed at home, his grandmother tried all the traditional ways to fight a cold, but he was getting worse and his fever wouldn’t go down. Milica wrote to us and asked if we could help. She and her brother already had lost both parents a few years ago in a car accident and the only caretaker, their grandmother has been trying to make ends meet with a family pension two children receive of around 178 euro per month.

With the money you have donated to our project, we helped, Milos got to the doctor’s and received the proper medication. Three weeks later, he was all smiles again and Milica wrote to us to thank you and us.

Unfortunately, there are many children like Milica and Milos, almost two years of the pandemic have made it a matter of life and death having some 10 Euro to pay for the bus sometimes.

We are so grateful for all your donations and for enabling us to help these children and their families! We all wish you very happy holidays and a much better New Year and we hope that you will continue supporting our project and our efforts to help as many children as possible during this festive season.

With Gratitude,

Yours,

Pomoc deci team

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Andjela proud of her new laptop
Andjela proud of her new laptop

Andjela S. is a 17-year old girl who has never asked for more than she absolutely needed although in many ways she has been more vulnerable than her peers and others affected by the virus.

Being a fourth child in a displaced family where making ends meet is a daily struggle, Andjela is used to sharing and living with less than what other teenagers have. With the start of pandemic and schools closing down, she was one of those young students who did not have a single smart device within the whole family to enable online learning. Her parents who had been earning money by working in the other people's fields, could not find any work because of the lockdowns.  It was your donations and our prompt reaction that enabled Andjela and her siblings to complete successfully the school year. We bought a laptop and provided them with other stuff essential for online schooling.

Already wearing glasses and spending most of her days in front of the screen made her develop mild epileptic seizures in spring which required regular visits to the doctors placed in another town. Living with insufficient funds and at the edge of poverty, her family couldn’t manage to follow doctors’ instructions, regular monthly examinations and medications.

Here again, it was your support that enabled our daily communication with her, following her medical condition and ensuring that Andjela has all the medication needed, all tests done when scheduled and all measures taken to improve her condition.

Andjela is healthy and happy now, preparing for her senior year at high school, but also very determined to help us as a volunteer in the field. “In future, I want to do what you are doing! I want to show children who are suffering poverty, who are affected by any disaster, that there are people who are having their back, who want to and can help these children overcome difficulties. If you let me, I will work with you first, and maybe one day, I will have an organization to support other children”, says Andjela and adds: “I want the people who are donating for me to know that as soon as I start working, I will be always giving for others. This chain of support has to go on and those helped, always need to find a way to help others”.

We at Pomoc deci cannot be more proud of Andjela and her beliefs, but we also know that she herslef still needs a lot of our support!

We know that the times are tough and that the whole world is trying to cope with the consequences of the pandemic, but as Andjela puts it, we need to keep the chain of support going, so, please, donate if you can, or simply spread the word and let your friends and colleagues know that they can also be part of our joint effort to help the children make through the pandemic with as little trauma as possible.

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Dear friend,

How are you? It’s been a while since we last talked. This April, we are celebrating one year since the launch of the project and we wanted to share some very happy news with you.  

Earlier this year, thanks to your generous support and contribution, we were able to acquire laptops for some of the most vulnerable families and their children. These kids have been attending school virtually for the better part of the school year and how difficult it’s been! Since schools in Serbia do not provide laptops to their students, most families do not have a dedicated computer for children to study and attend classes. This means that one, two, three kids has to share a parent’s phone to follow classes. Many children had to compromise and only attend parts of the school day in order to accommodate other siblings. While an important lesson in sharing, education should never be a compromise. Children must be able to go to school uninterrupted. 

That is where your support has come in - over the past 12 months, you have generously supported our work. And we thank you for it. 

One of these families are the school-aged sisters Dijana, Valentina and Danijela. Between them, they had to share one phone to follow their respective classes. Their mom says that it’s been difficult for them to attend classes as it’s three of them using one phone. While their mother has not been able to find work, she is out of the house often, either taking the one phone with her or leaving it at home so the girls can follow their classes, and helping with their father’s treatment. 

The girls are fortunate that they have been able to maintain their good grades in school but it was incredibly difficult. When one of them has classes, the other does homework, while the other does the reading from the textbook. They take turns, but it becomes hard to keep up sometimes. We surprised them in January as a belated New Year’s present and three months later, their mother Jasmina, says that the laptop has helped them out immensely. While they are still sharing the laptop, they are able to follow their lessons and complete assignments. In fact, the 2nd grader is so excited about going to school, that she wakes up every morning, excited to study.

And you made this happen.

Thank you.

Kids for which we were able to provide a laptop
Kids for which we were able to provide a laptop
Drawing that the eldest daughter made
Drawing that the eldest daughter made

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Mihajlo and Mila
Mihajlo and Mila

Over the past couple of weeks, coronavirus cases across the world, and in Serbia, have been rising. A lot of businesses cannot keep up with the after effects, to pay their bills and their employees, and as such, they had to shut down. In December, further restrictions are being placed, putting thousands of people under risk of job loss, homelessness and inability to pay for basic necessities.

Here is the story of Mihajlo and Mila, two children who live only with their father, Dragan. The family just barely makes it out every month, living paycheck-to-paycheck. As the lockdown orders were issued, Dragan lost his job. He is on occasion able to pick up a shift to earn some money for his family, however it is not nearly enough.

Dragan contracted coronavirus and was not able to work a job that already was not paying him enough to get by.  Thanks to the generous support we have received over the past couple of months, this has allowed us to help him get by by paying for his injections, ensuring a faster recovery time, allowing him to get back on his feet faster. Every bit of support helps. 

In September, just as school started, Mihajlo and Mila were able to get textbooks for school. Their father had no way of paying for their school supplies. “It was either food for us or textbooks.” Now, they can do homework and study on their own. A necessity as majority of students across Serbia move to virtual learning this December. We will also be transferring money to parents whose children can no longer go to school due to coronavirus measures.

The family struggles so much, that without the support they get from us, they would not have been able to get some logs for their wood burner to keep them warm.

And they are not alone. Hundreds of families have been left to fend for themselves and they need our help. This holiday season, consider supporting families like Dragan, Mihajlo and Mila's. In the spirit of giving, if you set up a recurring donation December 14-18, GlobalGiving will match it at 200%. (For terms and conditions, click here)

Times are tough, if you are unable to support us this holiday season, consider reaching out to your friends or family and help us in our mission of helping families get fed this holiday season.

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Organization Information

Pomoc deci

Location: Belgrade, Serbia - Serbia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @pomocdeci
Project Leader:
Ljiljana Vasic
Belgrade, Serbia
$5,687 raised of $20,000 goal
 
60 donations
$14,313 to go
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