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
Djurdjina, a proud recipient of the highest award
Djurdjina, a proud recipient of the highest award

Two and a half years ago, we shared with you a story of Djurdjina P, a girl who lost everything to the worst floods in the region in more than a hundred years. Just two weeks after her 11th birthday, her father saved her literally seconds before their house collapsed and was swept away together with everything the family had had. It took years for this girl to overcome trauma and nightmares that would wake her up in the middle of the night thinking that the water was drowning them all over again...

We provided this girl with the scholarship from the donations you made to help children victims of the floods . Other donors provided a small prefabricated house for her and her family on the other side of a small town of Krupanj in the Western Serbia. Her elder sister won the scholarship to go to Business College at the time. All this helped both Djurdjina and her family to start rebuilding their lives.

Today, Djurdjina is a proud teenager who has just graduated from the elementary school with all honours, who has received half a dozen Diplomas for excellence and awards at the knowledge competitions in different subjects and, above all, the Vuk Karadzic Award - a highest State Award for the extraordinary achievements in all educational areas. She has just been accepted at the General High School and has all the reasons in the world to be a happy accomplished teenager.

“I still can’t forget how everything just disappeared in a second. You know, these heavy rains over the last several weeks have just brought back the fear, I cried again and was only watching the skies and the river for days. The river started overflowing the banks again, but luckily, the raining stopped and the protection sand bags were enough to keep it there...”

Djurdjina doesn’t mention the other fear – how will she be able to go to the school from September, what she will wear and how she will buy the needed textbooks and school material for a new school, but it is obvious. Her father cannot work as he has become an invalid after being injured at work, her mother brings in the only small income into the household and they have no extra support from anywhere else. The secondary school is in the town, so she needs to go by bus and pay for the transport every day, the textbooks are expensive... And she never mentions a bike that she had wanted for a long time and got for her 11th birthday, two weeks before it disappeared in the floods. They have never had enough money to spare on a new bike again...

On July the 18th, from 9:00 in the morning Eastern Time (15:00 in Europe), GlobalGiving Foundation will match 50% every donation you make, up to 500 USD, as long as 120,000 Matching Funds last.

On this Bonus Day, you can help us continue providing the scholarships, buy textbooks or pay for the transportation costs or school snacks to Djurdjina and other children like her, whose lives have changed completely in the floods. Please, donate whatever amount you can on this day and as soon as the Bonus day starts (the available matching funds go fast).

Please, help us help these children to go on with their lives, put behind the disaster they went through and get the education they can and work hard for!

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Smiles say it all
Smiles say it all

Aleksandar (in two weeks time coming of age) and Aleksandra (almost 21), a brother and sister from a small town in Vojvodina in the northern Serbia, were always cheerful, full of energy children doing great at school and living in a happy family. They both graduated from the elementary school with the greatest honours and awards as best pupils in their generations.

Four years ago, the floods took almost everything they had. Just a month later, Aleksandra graduated from the secondary school, again with the greatest honours and with the award of the best student of her generation at school. Two years ago, just as they were recovering from the damage the floods had made, their father fell ill and three months later, as the last straw, a factory in which he had worked for almost 24 years closed, so he was sick and unemployed. With unemployed mother, the whole family was left without any income. Aleksandra was in her second year at University in another town (the first year she had completed with the average grade 9.46 – 10.0 being the highest theoretical grade) and Aleksandar was in his second year of the secondary school with the first year completed previously with the average grade 5.0 which is the theoretical maximum in secondary schools). “We didn’t know what to do. There was no money to continue our education, there was no money even for our transportation to University or school. We both felt helpless, we thought we needed to do more, our school records were not enough to find any help for any of us or the family as such, but we didn’t know what we could do” – quietly was saying Aleksandar.

They found our email address and wrote us a letter at the beginning of the school year 2016/2017. They gave us all the contact numbers, the address, photos of their diplomas, invited us to their home to see the situation and simply wrote: “Unless you found us worthy of your attention and could help us in any way, we would not be able to continue our education. Please, at least, read our letter and see why we are writing to you”. We did read their letter an talked to them.

You trusted us and were giving donations for supporting children affected by the floods. So, we were actually able to help them. We started paying Aleksandra’s transportation costs and proved Aleksandar with the scholarship.

Today, Aleksandra is in her third year at University, still keeping her average grade at around 9.5 and Aleksandar is in his third year at the secondary school with the average grade still 5.0. “You have made us believe in ourselves again, believe that our efforts are recognised, valued and that this is the way we can complete our education and take one huge worry off our parents’ backs”, comments Aleksandra. “We are grateful beyond words to each and every person who has helped us with a donation to get my monthly bus pass and the brother’s scholarship. We both know that as soon as we get into a position to be employed and earn money, we will help others. We know how much it means to someone who has lost all hope to regain confidence and belief that if you do your best, someone will give you a hand and help jump over the troubled water”.

Please, help us help more children like Aleksandar and Aleksandra! Any individual donation up to 50 USD will be matched 50% during the five-day Little by Little Matching Campaign (April 9 - 13th)! And every new recurring donation will be matched 100%!

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Andjela in front of the family's new house
Andjela in front of the family's new house

Andjela P. is a 16-year old girl from Krupanj, a small town in Western Serbia that was almost completely destroyed in the floods which struck Serbia three years ago. During the floods, she was trapped with her sister and parents in the remains of their house which was situated on a hill in the Kostajnik village. The water was coming in very fast. Fortunately, they were all rescued, but fear of that terrible night still haunts the entire family. Her parents lost everything, and since the small factory in which they had worked was also completely damaged by the floods, they lost their jobs too. The only income for a six-member family was her grandfather’s pension. Andjela had no means to continue her education after the elementary school since she would have to have money to travel and stay at a dormitory in another town if she wanted to go to the secondary school.

With your support, we could offer the scholarship to Andjela and with that money she could pay for the food and accommodation at the Secondary School for Postal and Communication Technicians in Belgrade. She had only excellent grades in the first year of the new school, but after school, it was difficult to be alone in a totally different and big city.

And this year, in September, a new room-mate arrived – Jovana, a girl from a small town Raca. Jovana was born in a Collective Centre for refugees and internally displaced people. Her parents escaped from Kosovo in 1999. With your support for another project which we have on GlobalGiving, Jovana has also been supported by the scholarship.

It took just a couple of days for two girls, who had never met before, to realise that they are both going to the same school, and are both there only because they are supported through our scholarships, although through different projects.

They are best friends now. And for neither of them it would ever be possible to go to the secondary school, especially not the one for postal and communication technicians which is in the capital of Serbia had it not been for your donations enabling us to give them the scholarships.

Please, keep helping us help these children. In the coming End-of-the-year Campaign, which starts from November 28th, we are trying to raise enough funds to help these children stay at school and help their families educate other siblings. Our aim is to raise 5,000 USD through the campaign. Your assistance in both donating and spreading the word about our efforts to your friends will be of significant help!

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Happy start of a new School year with new books
Happy start of a new School year with new books

Consequences of the devastating floods in Krupanj three years ago are still visible – a lot less on the buildings and roads, but on the livelihoods of the people they are huge. In a place where no industry exists anymore and the main source of income for the families is berry picking and farming, this year’s heat waves and temperatures of over 40 degrees over the last several months, took a heavy toll. A total damage on the individual agriculture from the heat waves this year is estimated at over 500 billion USD by the State. On families living in and around Krupanj, this has been a devastating season.

Nemanja, Petar, Andjela, and all the other 35 children that we have been supporting with your help, once again have been put under pressure of how to continue their education.

“Please, could you tell me if there would be any opportunity for your help in at least some of the most expensive textbooks for the next school year? I know that you can’t help us all, but, please, even one book will help! My mom is crying because, as it looks, my elder sister will have to stop going to her school in town next year because we cannot pay for her transport and books and other stuff. If you could help with some of my books, maybe it could save the money for her transport so that she can continue going to school too” – reads a message on our Facebook page from Andjela, now 14 years of age, the girl we supported with the textbooks last school year. Her sister Milica will be in the third year of the Secondary vocational school in Loznica, a nearby town. Provided, the family could afford it.

Thanks to your support, we could answer Andjela that we would secure the whole set of her textbooks as well as a scholarship for her sister for the next school year.

And we have managed to help other 19 children who are travelling to their school with scholarships for the coming school year. We have ordered textbook sets for a total of 15 children who are at elementary school in Krupanj.

“Please, please, tell these people that both my sister and I are sooo happy that we can both keep going to school next year! Tell them that we will surely be excellent students again! And, please, please, thank them on my mom’s behalf, too!” – answered Andjela when we replied that you have helped us secure the funds to keep them both at school.

Please, help us continue helping these children. With every year we manage to help them stay in school, these children and youth will gain more skills and knowledge and this poor area will have more chances of recovery and rebuilding itself.

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Four little sisters living on one scholarship
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!

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Organization Information

Pomoc deci

Location: Belgrade, Serbia - Serbia
Website:
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Twitter: @pomocdeci
Project Leader:
Ljiljana Vasic
Belgrade, Serbia
$71,228 raised of $90,000 goal
 
460 donations
$18,772 to go
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