Four little sisters living on one scholarship
Four little sisters from the same family live up in the hills of the mountain Cer, in a village Krzava. The closest urban place is a small town Krupanj in south-western part of Serbia. Three of them go to school, and the youngest is only five years old. Each morning three girls travel by bus to school in Krupanj. One of them is in the second grade, the other sister is in fourth, and oldest one Bojana is in the sixth grade. All three are excellent pupils.
Their daily routine is all set up: going to school, getting back home to do their homework and then helping their mom in the fields. They are good shepherdesses as well, because they often have to tend and rear sheep in the meadows, too.
It seems that the life is slowly returning to the normality after an unprecedented downpour and floods undermined the hill and made many houses disappear in a matter of minutes. Lush nature hides the remains of the huge damage caused after the floods that nearly totally destroyed little city Krupanj and its surrounding. The flood swept away everything the family owned.
For a long time the eldest girl, Bojana and her family lived at her aunt’s place. Through the international donations the family was recently granted a small prefabricated house. They managed to equip the house with the sheer necessities and to buy chicken and sheep to feed the family.
The whole household depends on Bojana’s mother Nada, as father cannot do any heavy work after his heart attack. The hard life is written in the wrinkles on her face, but with a broad smile she says that the girls are of great help to her. When the season comes, all the girls with their mother become field workers, in addition to other tasks. They pick raspberries and blackberries and the money they make from selling these fruits is the only income they make for buying the necessities through the whole year.
"This year we had an exceptionally cold winter with lots of snow. It has been too cold even now, during the spring time, so we cannot make any money off this year's crop yet. The only money we have now in the house is a small child allowance that we get from the State, so you can imagine how important the scholarship I receive from you is!”, explains Bojana in a matter-of-fact tone of her voice. “Every penny is a fortune for us. The first priority in spending this money is to buy all the necessities the girls need for school", explains mother Nada.
After the floods, many young people have left Krzava forever, there are mostly old people households in the village, so there are no other children to play with around. Most of the time four little sisters are the only companions to one another. They are playing, fighting and laughing, as all sisters do. In addition to school obligations, work in the fields and shepherding, Bojana, as the eldest among them, has an additional responsibility to take care of the younger sisters, but this modest girl says that she doesn’t find it so difficult. She talks about her plans after the elementary school, her love for the mathematics, but she doesn’t want to remember the disaster her family went through during the floods. And she says that there is no time for her to feel lonely without her school friends around. “When sometimes, I feel like it, I think about and am looking forward to the next time when I can spend some time alone with my best friend Marta. These are the special days! We are in the same class. She sometimes comes to my home in Krzava, and sometimes I can go to visit her in her village. Then we have time to play and talk”, Bojana explains broadly smiling.
Thank you very much on Bojana’s behalf and all the other children you help us to help!