Beneficiary profile: Jela from Brčko district

Published: 15 August 2014 17:56 CET

Jela is a refugee from Gunja in Croatia, just across the nearby border. She has worked hard for many years to build her home here in Brčko. She was just ready for retirement when these floods came pouring in. She didn’t want to leave all she had worked for, but her family came and insisted that she evacuated, for her own safety, as the water was already above waist high.

Although Jela’s family comes to visit her to bring her groceries and to sit and chat, she lives alone. Recently, she injured her leg, and as she struggles around her house, there is pain in her eyes, as much from the sight of her gutted home than from the injury to her leg.

In the background, a dehumidifier hums, trying to extract the last of the destructive waters. Now that the house is drying out, cracks are appearing in the walls, almost from nowhere. The Red Cross has given her assistance, including food and household items, as well as a small cash grant to help her pay for basic repairs. She still doesn’t know if the government will provide funds to repair her home.

A local ‘handyman’ has come to help her with some repairs, but even he thinks the damage is too much for her to live there until repairs are complete, but she does not want leave her home again.

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