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
Ivana proudly shows a notebook of her drawings
Ivana proudly shows a notebook of her drawings

Ivana Dj., now an eleven year old girl, was born with a heart defect. She realized quickly that she is different and that she cannot do all that other children can. She does not have a carefree childhood. She must rest often and must not jump or run with their friends. She does not have a cell phone or a computer. When she comes home from school, she likes to draw and read. Tom Sawyer is her favorite hero, because he is a mischief-maker.

Ivana is a single child. She never met her father because he left the family when she was a baby. She lives with her sick mother and sick grandfather in a one-bedroom apartment in a Belgrade suburb, which was granted to them by the municipal authorities as temporary emergency accommodation. Ivana’s mother, Jelena (35), a traffic technician, has not been able to work for the past few years. Due to a serious illness, she has undergone several operations lately. Unfortunately, the flood which almost destroyed the Belgrade municipality of Obrenovac two years ago, also killed one member of their family.

"The day when the members of Pomoc deci came to visit us and brought a lot of food, they also brought great joy into our lives. There were days when we really did not have anything to eat. I have no words to express my gratitude for the scholarship, which means a lot to my Ivana“, Jelena says.

Ivana is a tiny little girl, but seems a tough one. She never said a word of complaint. Since last year, with the funds raised through GlobalGiving, Pomoc deci has been providing her with a scholarship. It covers the expense of her basic school books and supplies. Last year she completed fourth grade with the highest honors. This year, Ivana excelled in school again – she won the second place in the municipal competition in biology.

"Unfortunately, she was prevented from participating in the city competition due to an illness. She cried a lot because of that”, her mother says.

"I love nature. I have a great biology teacher. She is doing her best to help us. She gave me many biology books and has promised to help me prepare for the next competition,“ Ivana explains.

She likes to spend her free time walking in a nearby park with her best friend Tamara. But when she is at home she loves to draw. She happily shows her notebooks filled with her artworks.

When asked what her wishes are for the future, Ivana suddenly fell silent. And then, as if she grew up in an instant, she solemnly said: "I wish I had a computer. I'd like to have my own room too."

On June 15th, GlobalGiving.org will be holding a Bonus Day with $110,000 available in matching funds. There will also be two $1,000 Bonus Prizes that will be awarded to the projects with the highest number of donors and the most funds raised on Bonus Day. GlobalGiving.co.uk will be running a simultaneous Bonus Day with £10,000 available in matching funds. Please, consider helping us by donating for our project on June 15th because your donation on that day will bring us additional 50% from the GlobalGiving Matching funds!

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Nemanja and his cat Cicmil
Nemanja and his cat Cicmil

For several years, a school report card of Nemanja D. has been full with all the excellent grades, but one. There is just one subject with "only" a "very good" grade. It is the grade for the fine arts subject. "I cannot draw," briefly says Nemanja. He is in the grade now and will graduate from the primary school in Krupanj in May this year.

“He is one of only four pupils with excellent grades in the class of 23 pupils”, says proudly his mom Ljilja.

Nemanja is a modest boy, a bit shy, doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t have many wishes, just to have a nice mobile phone. He would like to continue his education at high school. Maths and physics are his favorite subjects. Just like his sister Aleksandra, who is a first-year University student of Mathematics.

When we went to Krupanj last time, a week ago, Nemanja was on school holidays. Sometimes, he goes to visit his best friend in the neighborhood. When he stays at home, his cat Cicmil is a good company. He wants to cuddle it all the time.

Krupanj is a small town in Serbia, which almost vanished after the unprecedented flood a year and half ago. Many families lost all they owned. A huge downpour made a small river swell, the water undermined the hill and many houses disappeared in a matter of minutes in a big land-slide. Part of the carefree child-life the flood that destroyed nearly the entire town took forever. The night of the huge disaster changed so many lives.

Only a narrow road divided Nemanja’s family house from the river banks. Heavy rain was falling the whole day, and after midnight a terrible bang woke them up. They remember how huge amounts of water started pouring over the river banks. The water climbed quickly up the house walls. Nemanja’s mom and grandmother say it was a nightmare. They still speak about it with a quivering voice. Their eyes are filled with tears, and they just hope it never happens again. Nemanja cannot speak about the flood. His grandmother tells us he was so frightened that he was afraid to get out of the bed for a long time after. Fear of floods has not disappeared in this family. 

“My husband is a policeman, unfortunately he was on duty that night. Children freaked out. Many animals were drowning in the courtyard. I was out of my mind. At that moment I didn’t know what to do first. More than a month we were just cleaning the mess. The whole street disappeared and we had to climb over the hill to go to the town for necessary food", said Lilja.

Nowadays life in Krupanj slowly returns to normal. Thanks to the international aid and donations, the roads have been rebuilt, a hospital and schools repaired. But many residents of Krupanj still suffer. In a small town like Krupanj there is no industry and people mostly work in the fields. Nemanja’s family almost repaired the house, but they lost the land where they had cultivated raspberries.

"We all used to work in raspberry fields, Aleksandra and Nemanja, too. We earned money by selling raspberries. It was our savings for the children’s education. I work as a saleswoman in a local shop. Our salaries are small and sufficient just for the necessary things in everyday life," explained Ljilja.

Speaking about his work in the raspberrys fields, Nemanja says it was not difficult. He enjoyed it. "I loved picking the raspberries," he says with a smile.

Nemanja received a scholarship this scool year from the Pomoc deci for the first time. "Your scholarship came at the right time, because the end of the primary school is near and he wants to be prepared for high school. That money means a lot to our family, first of all, as a great support for Nemanja’s further education. We are grateful. Many, many thanks," stresses Ljilja.

Pomoc deci is grateful to everyone who has generously donated to the Support for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia proejct.

We appreciate any contribution and support. Thanks to your donations we have been able to provide school meals, school books, and scholarships for ten young boys and girls. All of us are happy to help them go forward and be successful in their education.

Please donate whatever you can and be the one of us who are happy to help as many children as possible!

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Gratefulness in a smile
Gratefulness in a smile

Djurdjina P., a twelve-year-old girl from Krupanj, posed for a photo: she put on a new T-shirt and put a smile on her face. She wanted to look nice like all the other girls, but her smile vanished as soon as the light ceased. Her fear emerges when the night comes. Since her family's house was washed away by the floods a year and a half ago she'd rather spend the night with her mom and dad than in her bed alone.  The flood almost destroyed the entire town. Her home disappeared as well as her carefree life.

In a small town such as Krupanj there is no industry and people mostly work on the land. Her mother is a saleswoman in a local shop, and her father is disabled. Due to injuries at work he is unemployed. They barely have enough income to make ends meet.

As a young married couple, Djurdjina’s parents began to build a house. It took years to complete. When the house was finished they were relived. The older daughter received a scholarship to attend a business college. Djurdjina got a bicycle as a birthday present. She dreamt of one for a long time. Just when it seemed that they were happy, an unprecedented downpour swelled the river, undermined the hill and their house disappeared in a matter of minutes. The flood swept away everything Djurdjina and her family owned.

Trying to save his family with a frightened look in his eyes, Djurdjina's father started running all over the house. He grabbed his younger daughter, put her on his shoulders and ran outside. The house fell apart behind them. 

Thanks to many donations her family was recently granted a small prefabricated house on the other side of Krupanj. Djurdjina's family was at a new beginning, but they could not stop thinking about their previous life, the nice things they used to do together. Once again Djurdjina got a bed of her own, but she could not sleep in peace. She is still afraid to be alone at night. As the sky gets dark she begins to fear sweeping waters. 

Sometimes she feels lonely during the day. She had to leave her friends on the other side of the town. She misses her best friend Djuka. They were neighbors. While they were growing up they used to play every day. The girls shared their secrets as good friends do. Djurdjina misses those days very much.   

"I'd give anything to be together with my Djuka again", says Djurdjina. „She feels lonely. She has no friends in her new neighborhood,” says Djurdjina's mom, Snezana.

Djurdjina misses her bicycle too, which she received as a birthday present. She learnt how to ride and enjoyed it for just two weeks. Now she can just dream of it. The scholarship she received enables her solely to attend school regularly. Djurdjina is an excellent student of the sixth grade.

“We appreciate any help. Thank you very much for your support of Djurdjina. The scholarship she gets means a lot to her. She can get education as the other children do," says Djurdjina's mom.

Little Djurdjna is grateful to everyone who has helped her. Her smile is a gift to all the good people.

Pomoc deci is grateful to everyone who has generously donated to the Support Program for Children in Flooded Areas of Serbia. Even a small amount of money means a lot for many boys and girls to go forward.

Thanks to your donations, in September and October we have been able to provide scholarships for ten children, and other 15 children received school books.

We hope that your support to these youngsters will help them overcome their traumas in days to come. 

Please donate whatever you can end be the one of us who would be happy to help as many children as possible!

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Jovana with her young brother at Community Centre
Jovana with her young brother at Community Centre

Dear Friends,
Thank you so much for your support over the last three months! You have helped us raise £3,000 and this has made it possible for us to receive additional £3,000 from PayPal in UK!


With this money, we have decided to open a Call for applications from children from the families affected by the floods for one of 15 full scholarships in the coming school year, to provide 20 sets of textbooks and 15 school meals for the children who do not win the scholarship.


We have also planned to set aside some funds for necessary new shoes and clothes for those children whose parents have no means to provide them.


“Last year, when I went to school in my flip flops I was so cold that I got sick. My mother said I wouldn’t go to school in winter because she did not want me to get sick again and had no money to take me to the doctor. When my teacher asked my Dad which shoe size for the new training shoes I needed, I couldn’t believe it. And I still didn’t believe that I would get new shoes and could go to school until you came with those beautiful blue training shoes. Thank you so much for that! I finished the grade with very good grades and it was possible only because I could go to school when it was cold”, said Jovana from Obrenovac who completed the seventh grade in June.


Bonus Day: If you decide to help our project again on September the 16th, your donation will be 30 percent increased by matching funds from GlobalGiving. Please, help us help more children!

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Andjelina holds little shampoo bottles tight
Andjelina holds little shampoo bottles tight

Andjelina has lost her home as have other thousands of children over the last year in several tides of flooding that have hit Serbia since May 2014. With your help, we have provided Andjelina with clothes, shoes and on reglar basis we have been able to provide some hygienic necessities. She is completing the second grade now and has managed to get all best grades despite still living in the ruins of her previous home.

"I only wish I had one of my dolls back, all of them are gone... Sometimes, I'd like to talk to them and do their hair like I used to do. With this shampoo, I could make their hair look as nice as mine ...", she says, holding tight to the bits of the package that we took to her familiy close to the banks of the Danube.

The financial support of people like YOU is what makes it possible for us to make children like Andjelina smile. We have helped more than 300 children so far, some with clothes and school necessities, some with the stipends, some with regular school meals so that they can have at least one cooked meal a day.

 

Your donation from NOW till July the 10th  can go even further – a matching campaign is underway! If with your help we manage to raise 3000£ till July the 10th, GlobalGiving UK will match your donations with the additional 3000£. Go to our project page www.globalgiving.co.uk/17206 to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

 

As always - THANK YOU for your ongoing generosity and support!

 

Yours,

 

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
$71,738 raised of $90,000 goal
 
495 donations
$18,262 to go
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