IFRC


Beneficiary profile: Emin from Maglaj, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Published: 15 August 2014 17:43 CET

Emin, a retiree, has invited us into his home. He and his wife had to evacuate when floods swept through the town in May. When the waters receded, they returned to find that the home they had spent their lives building together had been utterly ruined. Although still standing, it is little more than a shell.

Just before the floods came, he was about to build a small extension onto his home. When the water swept through, it took everything his family had; all their furniture, their cooker, firewood for the winter, everything. All they have left now are memories. Emin shows us photographs of happier days. This is the second time he faced rebuilding his life from scratch, having had to do the same thing after the war.

From the Red Cross, he has already received food aid, some furniture, and a small cash grant to help him carry out some initial repairs to his home. He would like to make even one room of his house ready for cold weather before the winter comes, but doubts it will be possible.

Outside his house, he grew vegetables in his garden. Now, fearful that the floodwaters have made the vegetables unhealthy, he is afraid to harvest them. For drinking water, he cycles to the next village, where he knows the water is safe. He brings back a few litres at a time in a small trailer attached to his bicycle.

In his garden, he also has a vintage car, now filled with mud. Once, tinkering with old cars was his passion. He no longer cares about the cars, as he devotes all his energy to repairing his damaged home.

As lunchtime arrives, he heads back to his sister-in-law’s apartment where he and his wife are staying. He carries his photographs with him, his link to happier days.




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