In the summer of 2014, a massive flood devastated Bosnia/Herzegovina. Over a million people were affected as infrastructure, businesses, homes, farms and crops were destroyed. Convoy of Hope Europe (COHEU) took immediate action, and partnering with teams from Sarajevo and Brussels, moved into the village of Maglaj to assist with recovery efforts. Maglaj is situated on the River Bosna and was completely submerged by the flood. Teams brought in food and cleaning supplies, as well as providing necessary supplies for reopening the local school.
While the waters from the Bosna have long receded, the recovery continues. In addition to ongoing work in the school, doors have also opened to also assist with government collective housing for the socially disadvantaged.
Zumra, a resident of the government housing, is a single mother and cancer survivor. She cleans houses to support her two sons, but there are not many who can afford to pay her after the flood ruined the local economy. When she cannot find work, she volunteers for the municipality on social projects. Last month her heater broke, and she had no means to replace it.
Also in the building is another single mother named Nerminka. Nerminka’s 19 year old son Semir is mentally disabled and epileptic. Her husband abandoned them, and Nerminka was forced to quit her job as a hairdresser to take care of Semir. Semir was further traumatized by the flooding, and his condition continues to deteriorate. They receive a disability allowance from the government, but it is barely enough to survive. It is not enough to purchase the new bed needed for Semir, still sleeping on an old rusted iron bed and mattress that was damaged by the floods.
Once COHEU became aware of these situations, Zumra received a wood stove to keep her sons warm this winter, and Semir received a new bed.
The value of these items is far higher than their price to those who have lost everything, and we thank our partners for making it possible. Recovery after disasters of this magnitude take years, but every day doors continue to open to bring Hope to families affected by the flooding. Our commitment to the community of Maglaj will continue until the work is complete.
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