Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia

by Pomoc deci
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia
Elena still needs your help!
Elena still needs your help!

Almost a year and a half ago, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. And then if it was not enough, new floods came in south Serbia in summer 2020. Western and south parts of the country were under water, crops were drowned… many families were left both without jobs and food…

Little nine-year-old Elena A. from Surdulica lost her father to COVID-19. And her mother and grandmother had nowhere to go to pick fruits and earn some money, because the water destroyed raspberries in other people’s fields. She completed the second grade of elementary school with all excellent grades and although she loved going to school, she was not looking forward to the beginning of the new school year. She was about to start the third grade, but a new school curricula was introduced by the Government and for the new curricula only new textbooks could help. Her mother could not turn to any older child for the second-hand books. She couldn’t afford even notebooks, let alone new shoes or a jacket for the autumn. Elena’s Master teacher wrote to us and asked if we could help in any way.             

We reached out to you in an appeal to help and you responded! We received enough money not only to help Elena with new textbooks, school material and tools, but we bought new textbooks for other six Elena’s peers. This proved to be of crucial importance since none of them have any computer, laptop or smart phone and when the schooling went online because of COVID-19, these textbooks were the only thing they could turn to in order to learn and get ready for the tests.

All of them, like other 121 children from the families affected by floods who we could help in some way, completed the school year successfully. However, as the education reform is underway, in September, they need new textbooks again – new programme starts for the fourth and eighth graders and there is no other possibility for these children than to buy new books.

We know that this year has been difficult for us all but your donation will help us make sure that the children from the poorest households will have that one secure meal per day at school, will have all the needed textbooks for the next school year, or will be able to attend school regularly because they would have the needed money for a monthly transportation pass. If you donate TODAY - on July 14th from 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time - EDT (15:00 Central European Time - CET), donations between 100 USD and 1,000 USD will be matched from 15% to 50% by the GlobalGiving Foundation through the Bonus Day campaign.

Please, click on the Donate button today and help us help these children to start the new school year ready for new learning in September!

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This May marks seven years since the floods swept across Serbia, made families homeless overnight and ruined sources of income for many. 

Bojana and her family were one of those families. In 2014, the family lost their home. After years of relying on the generosity of friends and relatives, Bojana, her sister and their dad were able to move into a smaller unit. As it is right now, their father only works sporadically. Childcare benefits and social security help them get by, but often this is not enough. Bojana says that their father does all he can to make sure his daughters are fed. 

The scholarship that she receives from Pomoc Deci has made all the difference in the world. Bojana’s dad does not have to worry about her school needs (such as textbooks, supplies, or even clothes) Bojana says that any bit helps to take off the pressure from her father. While the younger daughters rely on hand me downs, the fact that her father does not need to worry about Bojana’s school needs helps the family immensely. 

Thanks to the scholarship, Bojana can continue working hard in school. Without it, she says, she would not have been able to afford textbooks. And if she doesn’t have textbooks, her sisters won’t have them either. Having her own set of textbooks has made all the difference over the past year when she had to study at home, due to the coronavirus. “I can do homework and do practice assignments, study for tests and learn” She is in the tenth grade currently and, while it is still early, she hopes to continue her education at university level. Her favorite subject is math. “I am very proud of myself when I finish solving a problem!” 

You allowed us to do this. Your contributions and support over the years has allowed us to help Bojana, her family, and children like Bojana. For it, we are very touched and grateful. The past year has been especially challenging for Pomoc Deci and we would be ever so grateful if you considered providing vital, long-term support for those affected by floods and rising water levels by providing a monthly gift. After four monthly payments, GlobalGiving will match your generosity by 100% (up to $200). What happened in 2014 has been happening almost every year since in communities across Serbia and to continue providing support, we need your help. For less than $1 a day, you can help us bring necessary resources to those affected most.

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Most families that suffered and had lost their homes in 2014 as a result of the flooding are still living with the financial consequences. 

Aleksandar and Andjelina are siblings who, thanks to your support, have been able to receive a daily snack, textbooks and school supplies. Their parents are doing the best they can, however, with unemployment high and the two not working, it is hard for them since their savings are depleted and the help they get sometimes is not sufficient. They rely on benefits to help them get by, and while it covers some expenses, like bills and some basic food, it is not enough to finance school-related expenses that are scarcely covered. 

With the new school year, Andjelina just started high school, and will be studying to become a pharmacy technician, and Aleksandar started 5th grade. He says he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up but wants to finish his studies. Since their parents do not have jobs, both are focusing on their studies and studying hard so that they can find a job after finishing their education. 

Since 2014, every year parts of Serbia have faced enormous destruction as a result of flooding. This year, 20 municipalities had to declare a state of emergency due to an increase in water levels. In 24 hours, 210mm of rainwater fell. Under normal circumstances, this amount is equal to a year’s worth of rainfall.

Parents say that “it is a constant cycle to make sure that kids are fed while our bills are paid. Sometimes, we have to make compromises, just to make sure that the little ones are fed.” Without adequate food, children cannot concentrate in school and risk falling behind. Rainwater and floods do not discriminate. Whatever is on their way, they destroy. Most families lose their home, but some are even more unlucky as they rely on crops and cattle to make a living.

This year for GivingTuesday, we want to extend our hand and help those families. For that, we need your help. This year, with whatever size donation you can afford, you can help us on our mission to make sure everyone has a chance to continue their education. GlobalGiving is committed to help in our effort, promising to split $1,000,000 amongst eligible organizations. By donating on December 1 for GivingTuesday, you will be helping us with our work.

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Djurdjina doing her homework
Djurdjina doing her homework

Djurdjina and her family lost their home in 2014. The floods created landslides that swept their house, destroying almost everything. Rebuilding their lives has taken a toll on her parents, forcing them to make sacrifices. When there are two kids in school, who have plenty of necessary expenses, it becomes even more difficult to prioritize how and where your money will be spent. 

The monthly scholarship that Djurdjina receives helps the family immensely. She is able to study from her own set of textbooks and can purchase necessary supplies that the school does not provide. Djurdjina is a bright and studious girl who, with the support of the scholarship, does not have to worry anymore about using her sister’s outdated textbooks or using second-hand, worn-out materials. 

Despite the challenges around her, she's been able to maintain an excellent average. Last semester, she even had a perfect grade average.

Djurdjina still has another two years of schooling ahead of her, but in the future, she would like to study social work. She says it is because it incorporates psychology, one of her favorite school subjects alongside Serbian language and literature, and helping others. 

You did this! Your donation made this possible for Djurdjina. 

Earlier this year, flooding hit the area where Djurdjina lives. While her family’s home was safe this time around, a lot of other families were not as lucky. To continue to be able to provide assistance to families affected by flooding, we need your help. In 2020, if you set up a recurring donation, GlobalGiving will match the first donation 100%. For a little as $15 a month, you will help one child receive a warm lunch for one month, helping them focus in school. For many, this will be the only warm meal they will receive in a day.

“To be well-read, children must first be well fed.”

Don’t wait, donate today.

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Aleksandra presenting her research
Aleksandra presenting her research

Aleksandra’s heart is so full. From a young age, she has had dreams of wanting to help others, no matter how. Whether it was by helping an old grandma on the street carry her groceries, help her brother with his homework or volunteer in class, Aleksandra did whatever she could to help.

In high school, she learned more about different areas of psychology and had a lightbulb moment, where she realized "This is what I want to study!"

Unfortunately, without your support, she wouldn’t have been able to continue her education. Shortly before she was set to start college, her father’s health deteriorated and he lost his job; her mother became the primary breadwinner in the family, forced to pay for the mortgage, food, bills and her brother’s school expenses. Because there are no institutions of higher education in her town, she has to travel to the closest one and live in university housing, get food and pay for additional college expenses, all of which cost money, which the family had very little of.

Aleksandra had two choices: abandon her dream of becoming a psychotherapist or go to university, work a bit part-time to cover the essential expenses, and work towards her goal of helping others through the field of psychology.

Food insecurity is a big problem for college-aged students, and we are glad to offer help and support whenever possible. Thanks to donations coming from the generosity of our friends and supporters, we were able to cover her food plan, ensuring that she can study and thus not having to worry when her next meal will come (if at all). In Aleksandra’s case, she was able to work part-time in her field, gain practical experience, all while pursuing her studies. Last year, she even got a chance to present her work at a student conference at her university (where students from all across Serbia came to showcase their research and findings).

If you did not know, the majority of our donations come from individual donors who make, on a monthly or yearly basis, donations under $50. In celebration of such donors, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations under $50 at 50% from March 23-27 and we invite you to participate.

The work that we do is entirely funded through donations and would not be possible without the philanthropic support of our community. We are counting on your support to help us surpass our goal and invest in our children's future.

Please consider donating and making a child’s day. If you can't donate, consider sharing Aleksandra’s story with your friends and starting a fundraiser. Don't forget to stay in touch with us, over Facebook or Instagram, we’d love to hear from you.

With love,

Pomoc deci team

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Organization Information

Pomoc deci

Location: Belgrade, Serbia - Serbia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @pomocdeci
Project Leader:
Ljiljana Vasic
Belgrade, Serbia
$71,197 raised of $90,000 goal
 
457 donations
$18,803 to go
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