Maksim (17), Teodora (15), Luka (13) and their mother Marina Maksimović from the village Zvizdar near Ub, had lived, until half a year ago, in one room of an old and severely run-down house damaged in an earthquake, which was sinking since it was built above a network of canal of an abandomed mine. But despite not having running water and spending some time in complete darkness due to the debt for electricity bills, these good and hardworking children managed to achieve great results and become honor students.
The story of the difficulties endured by the Maksimović’s was spread thanks to the Blic Foundation, and in less than 24 hours, the Ub Mayor Darko Glišić informed local businesses and got them to act, thus raising 110,000 dinars to pay off the electricity debt. In a very short time, the Blic Foundation and Darko Glišić, as well as their friends, managed to get Maksim, Teodora and Luka to get a new, fully furnished 70 square meter house. Now each of them has their own room, and they spend beautiful family moments in a comfortable living room with dining room and kitchen.
– There is no greater satisfaction for us at the Blic Foundation than the glowing children’s faces, who like Teodora, Luka and Maksim, are great students, good, hardworking, well educated. We hope that in their new home they will be even more inspired to achieve great results. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the people of good will who helped us by donating to the Blic Foundation and we invite them to continue to participate in the “Heart for the Children” charity campaign in the year ahead and to make those that are most in need very happy, said Jelena Drakulić Petrović, Director of the Blic Foundation and Ringier Axel Springer Serbia.
According to the mayor of Ub, everyone who has helped in any way to solve this family’s existential issues, have done a great act of charity.
– We made members one wonderful family, which were facing big problems, have a smile on their face today, and it is not just a phrase when one says that a children’s smile has no price. Many thanks to everyone who helped, the least important is how much someone invested and provided, because together we were able to provide these great kids, who are the best students in the schools they attend, with a safe and nice place to live. I am proud of how dignified they were while dealing with all their problems and how the children were taught, from the very beginning, to be good examples. Together with the Blic Foundation and all those who want it, we will continue to help the most vulnerable – says Darko Glišić, Mayor of the Ub Municipality, adding that Ub can be proud of young Maksimović children because Maksim is an excellent student at the Technical School, a reciter and actor in the school plays and the plays presented by the Ub Cultural Center, Teodora was a straight A student when she enrolled in the high school, and Luka also gets all straight A’s in his elementary school.
– Our life has changed completely! No more trying to fit into the 20 squares that were all our space. We ate, studied, slept there, in only two beds, two in each. Finally we have a bathroom, we also have windows that now stop the wind from blowing icy air inside, the walls no longer creak and crown, we have a warm floor below us, not concrete and earth, a secure roof over us, and not a ceiling that is the habitat of hornets. In a word, we have a new life, for which our gratitude is immeasurable – says Maxim, while Teodora and Luka add: – One year ago we could not dream that each of us would have our own room. And when the Blic Foundation came, we hoped, but we didn’t expect the dream to come true so quickly, that it would become a reality thanks to good people. It remains for us to keep and maintain all this, to remain good students and to always do our best.
Marina Maksimović, who moved from Moldova to Serbia 18 years ago and gave birth to three children with her husband, was in tears. She lost her husband and, after his death, she had to take care of them herself. But unlike during the first encounter, these tears are tears of joy. Neither the fact that she will continue to work for hourly wages nor the fact the family’s only secure source of income will be Maksim’s school stipend of 5,400 dinars, will be a problem now that they have a new home.
– The biggest burden we had, namely, whether we had a place to spend the night in and wake up, is now gone. Everything else, we can take care of, together. We are immensely grateful to everyone who helped us. Don’t doubt that my children will forever appreciate it and that they will justify the trust that was placed in them – says the overjoyed Marina.
How to help?
All people of good will who wish to help children can send an SMS to the phone number 2552 or to donate money in RSD to the current account of the “Blic” Foundation: 275-0010221949709-90, or to foreign currency accounts: 10221949724 45 – for payments in Euros; 10221949711 84 – for payments in Swiss francs and 10221949717 66 – for payments in dollars, at OTP Bank Serbia, a.d. Belgrade.