Marica Cugalj, Pecinci, Serbia

Marica Cugalj fled with her husband from Croatia in 1995 and, since then, they have been living in the Srem village of Pecinci. Now a three-member family – they have a 14-year-old daughter – they were lucky, she says, because herself and her husband always had work. He works as a repairman and she works in the local shop. After more than 20 years of moving from one rented accommodation to another, they have now settled in the RHP-financed pre-fabricated house in Pecinci, where they will spend their first winter in their own house.

The Cugalj family heard about the possibility to get a pre-fabricated house from the municipal trustee – since they already owned the plot of land, they met the necessary criteria. They were shortlisted and the whole procedure went smoothly, although the licenses – at some EUR 3 000 – were expensive. Everything was managed very well and even the house’s interior is decorated according to the family’s taste.

Behind the house, there is a small garden where Marica is growing vegetables and has installed a beehive. For this family, being able to grow their own food and get additional resources from honey means a lot. According to their calculations, the most cost-efficient heating comes from electricity. The house is well isolated and, as Mr. Cugalj is also quite handy with the cooling/heating devices, they managed to prepare for the winter adequately.

The whole family is looking forward to the spring and the next season, to get their own vegetables and honey. They are also following the tenders from other international organisations for additional resources, so that Mr. Cugalj could purchase some of the machinery needed to start his own air conditioning repair business.

“So far, we have everything we hoped for. Let’s just hope the winter won’t be too cold and too long.”

  • 2 Apr, 2017
  • Jovan

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