With volunteers from southern Germany, we distributed food in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 1500 poor families got food for Christmas.
Christmas gifts were given to 3,000 children. Previously they had been lovingly packed in Germany by numerous small and large donors. Nearly half of these were collected in schools, kindergartens and churches in the Ulm region in November 2016. The children’s parcels and basic foodstuffs were distributed in and around Brcko and at Tuzla to distressed people.
One empty wheelbarrow after another lined up at the edge of the road. There are people chattering, some have taken their own carriages. They are mainly old people, who have a strenuous walk behind them. Some have come with a horse cart or a tractor. All wait patiently despite the negative grades for the transport from Germany. The food is a great help for people who have no income and only need to live on a small pension.
Since the Yugoslavian war more than 20 years ago, BdL has been arriving in the region shortly before Christmas with relief supplies. “Year after year, we hope that the life situation of the people here has improved so much that we do not have to come any more. But every time we are scared of how hard the people in the mountains are fighting for their daily survival, “says Drago Simeunovic from Bernstadt. The chairman of BdL has been organizing and supporting the transport from Ulm for several years.
The loading flaps of the truck open and the people push closer. The local chief calls the receivers one by one. They turn out and receive their package from the employees of bread of life. Prior to this, a list of the needy was prepared with the authorities in the individual locations. Drago Simeunovic tells them that 50% of Bosnians are officially unemployed. The rest is filled with minijobs or as a day laborer. A woman speaks a little German and says that in the summer she works as a harvester on cucumber and strawberry fields. In the winter, she found no work, so she was glad and grateful about any help.
When distributing goods, the Christian-humanitarian service does not make a difference between Christians and Muslims. “We help people in need of subsistence,” says Drago Simeunovic. They also visit a Roma settlement where extreme poverty and distress prevail. The pastor who oversees the settlement reports: “I wonder how people dispute their livelihood, they have no income and no social benefits. But they do not moan, but are glad that peace prevails. The politicians of the various ethnic groups who live here in Bosnia-Herzegovina are looking for the best for their people. Muslim Bosnians, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats are always threatening each other with war. ”
After 10 days, the volunteer team returned to Germany with the empty trucks. “In this difficult situation, we have met deeply grateful people. Many have emphasized the importance of the aid and our annual return, “says Drago Simeunovic and his colleagues. “But especially the children were happy, who broke out loudly in every school when we advanced. We are very grateful that our donors from the Enzkreis helped us with this action again. ”