Arna Pijalovic and Gordana Radic help run CRS’ home-rebuilding projects in Bosnia Herzegovina. There, thousands of people still lack housing because of the war in the 1990s. Arna writes from Sarajevo about a Christmas present one Bosnian family can expect soon.
The Petrović family—Želimirka, Goran, and their two young children—has a very low income, around 60 KM ($40) a month. They work hard farming their land, despite health problems. They are really kind, honest, good people.
Even before the global financial crisis, they didn’t have much to spend. Now things will be harder—I don’t know how they will get wood for fuel. But the couple took part in CRS workshops, where they learned how to write a small-business plan for their vegetable farming. They hope that by following the plan next year, they will make a better income. CRS also gave them a cow to help with milk for their children.
Their old house is not safe for living—the roof is damaged and the walls are very old. It’s also not easy to keep the house warm. The five of them, including Goran’s mother, are all in one small room.
As part of our projects to rebuild houses after the war, CRS engineers have almost finished building them a new home. It should be ready around Christmas and at the beginning of New Year 2009 they will move in. The bigger boy is constantly around the workers that are building the house, so happy to see them. His mother Želimirka says that he keeps repeating, “We are going to have new house!”
The war marked them for ever, but I’m so glad this nice young family will finally have a normal place to live. I believe a dignified life is coming for them.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of more than 100 countries whose people you help when you partner with CRS in reaching the world’s poorest. The global financial crisis has, of course, hurt everyone. It has made helping more difficult even as it increases the desperation of needy people. If you are at all inclined and able to help, know that what may seem an insignificant amount to you is nothing less than lifesaving. Even a little bit can make a big difference.