Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Wars, corruption, and economic turmoil have led to severe social and financial hardship. There are high levels of unemployment, with almost 19% of its citizens living below the poverty line.
The Zukics – Almir, 43, Sadeta, 38, and their six children aged one to 17 – live in one section of an old house in Bugojno, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although Almir has a job in logging, his low wages mean that the family lives in poverty.
Sadeta is at home caring for the children, and in the summer months, she and the children pick flowers and plants in the forest to supplement their income.
“When I saw the need of the family and their circumstances, I knew right away that they needed to be part of our family sponsorship program.”
Help bring joy to a family like the Zukics this Christmas
MWB Coordinator Nermin delivers Operation Christmas Love parcels to the Zukic family in Bogojno, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Nermin works for Mission Without Borders (MWB) supporting families living in poverty in Bugojno. He continued, “Although they live quite far away from all the other families and places where we serve, the sparkle in the children’s eyes when they receive our support and when I spoke about the summer camps and other opportunities for them is a picture that will never fade away. Because of that sparkle, everything is worth doing.”
The Zukics’ poverty is clearest in the lack of opportunities they have. Living in such a remote location, the children have to walk miles to a bus stop and then get a bus to go to school each day. They then come home to a place where there is nowhere to develop new skills, try new things, or nurture talents. For the Zukics, life is necessarily focused on simply getting enough money together to buy food and other essentials.
The winter season is particularly challenging as there are less opportunities for work and at the same time, firewood is needed to heat their home, something that’s very expensive.