“We have already bought some furniture, to be able to start living with dignity,” Story of the Srdić family, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Like countless other families in the Western Balkans, the conflicts of the 1990s in the region left an indelible imprint on the Srdić family. Željka and Veselko Srdić fled from Sanski Most in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to the BiH city of Banja Luka during this period. The couple lived there as displaced persons in rented accommodation where, without regular income, they struggled to pay the high rent.

From 1997 onwards, they started applying to various local and international organizations in the hope of securing adequate accommodation, but without success. Željka works seasonally in Germany to support her family, as Veselko is unable to work. Their two children, Jelena and Đorđe, graduated from high school in Banja Luka, and are currently seeking employment.

When the Srdić family heard about the Regional Housing Programme (RHP), they immediately decided to apply. Jelena, then still a teenager, diligently set about collecting and filling out all of the necessary documentation. After a further wait, the family learned that they had been accepted onto the beneficiary list. “I was so surprised when we heard that we were on the list of beneficiaries for a new apartment, because I had lost hope and faith,” Željka recalls. When Jelena, screaming and crying with joy, informed her that they were 10th on the list for a new apartment, Željka simply could not believe it. “Finally, thanks to this programme, we have been recognized as a family that deserves permanent housing,” she said. “I’m still in shock.”

The family intends to gradually equip the apartment with new furniture, depending on their finances. When they were tenants, they were unable to furnish their home as they liked, but now they can at last. “We have already bought some furniture, to be able to start living with dignity,” Željka smiles.

Jelena and Đorđe Srdić in their new apartment in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 4 Jul, 2023
  • Jovan

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