Branko and Dušanka Glišić, Ajdanovići, BiH: “This is the best example of how people can live and work together”
Branko Glišić and his wife Dušanka are returnees to the village of Ajdanovići in Olovo municipality, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). As beneficiaries of the Regional Housing Programme (RHP), the Glišićs received a new house on the site of their former home, which had been destroyed after Branko, his wife and two children fled to the eastern region of BiH in 1995.
Today, Branko recalls with sadness the years of hardship that the family spent living in inhumane conditions. “If we had known exactly what awaited us as displaced persons, we would never have left our home,” he says.
In 2014, Branko and his wife returned to the ruins of their home, while their adult children raised their families in other regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Four years later, the couple were delighted to receive the keys to their new RHP home.
In addition to their new house, the family were fortunate to also receive a new source of food and income, thanks to socio-economic assistance provided by the NGO Catholic Relief Services (CRS), funded by the U.S. Government. With this support, Branko began to cultivate raspberries and aronia berries, which he continues to sell via an agriculture co-operative with his Bosniak and Croat neighbours.
Today, Branko considers himself and his neighbours to be successful examples of co-existence and sustainable return. “Our joint work in the agriculture co-operative, regardless of nationality or ethnicity, is the best example of how people can live and work together,” he smiles.
Branko was also one of the RHP beneficiaries who appeared on national television in the programme “In Medias Res,“ which was dedicated to the Regional Housing Programme on World Refugee Day in 2019. This clip can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmS0laY3LXo
- 24 Nov, 2021
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