“Never give up – keep forging ahead,” Story of Janja Ždrnja, Novi Sad

Janja Ždrnja was born in Benkovac, a small town located in the Zadar County of Croatia, in the historical region of Dalmatia, surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes.

In 1995, due to the conflicts in the region, Janja fled Benkovac with her parents and sisters, leaving behind familiar surroundings and friends. She was 11 years old. It took the family 14 days to reach Serbia, joining the convoy with other war refugees.

Amidst the chaos caused by the war, they sought refuge in Gakovo, a small village near Sombor in Serbia, where the family lived for a few years before moving to Novi Sad in 2000.

It was in Novi Sad, known for its vibrant culture and rich history, that Janja’s family finally found peace and acceptance. Here, Janja also met her future spouse, and started her own family. She now has two children, a 20-year-old son, who is working, and a daughter aged 17, who is in high school and plans to study medicine next year.

On 14 June, 2023, Janja’s life took a further turn for the better, when she received keys to her new Novi Sad apartment under the Regional Housing Programme (RHP). When she applied for the Programme, she was initially skeptical that she would actually receive a home, thinking that something like this only happened to other people. It was to her astonishment that this turned out not to be the case.

Janja’s new home has given her fresh hope for the future, and the confidence to urge all refugees and displaced persons to never to give up, but to keep forging ahead.

RHP beneficiary Janja Ždrnja with her daughter in their new apartment in Novi Sad, Serbia


RHP building in Novi Sad

  • 26 Jun, 2023
  • Jovan

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