Loza Foundation is now starting their first aid project especially aimed at kids. In a joint venture with the children’s home “25th of May” in Macedonia, the aim is to give children and teenagers a helping hand, offering them support and restore their hope and belief in a brighter future.
“Children without parents in the poorest parts of Europe are especially vulnerable. We want to be there for them for a longer period of time and give them better prospects of eventually becoming a part of society again”, says Sabina Grubbeson, the founder of Loza Foundation.
During the summer this year, Sabina Grubbeson visited a children’s home in Skopje, Macedonia. It is called “25th of May” and the staff here take care of 24 children aged 11- 18. This children’s home is being given a relaunch after a scandalous period. Earlier in the spring, allegations of sexual abuse were found to be true and it was revealed that several children at the institution had suffered these crimes. A few of the girls had become pregnant, the youngest no more than 13 years old.
“When I arrived at the institution it was like walking into a derelict prison. The interiors and all the things in the rooms were broken and bore witness to tragic circumstances. Children had to live in squalor and there was a distinct lack of love and tender care”, says Sabina.
As media picked up on the story, a number of staff members were fired, arrested and charged. New, well-educated personnel were brought in and the children were moved out of the old institutional premises into new, smaller residential homes. The issue today is that they lack money and resources to be able to give these children and youngsters a meaningful life.
“I was touched by the fact that these children have been in a vulnerable position and suffered hardships for such a long time and now, someone finally wants to make their life better, but they don’t have the resources to pull it off. For me personally, it feels important to give the children an opportunity to participate in some positive activities as a part of the healing process. Partly to boost their self-confidence and self-esteem and also give them a belief in the future.”
Working together with the staff, Loza Foundation asked the children to write wish lists describing what they would like and dreamt of. This project took a great deal of time as the children had suffered so much disappointment and betrayals from the adult world around them and they now weren’t sure whether they would dare to voice their own dreams and wishes.
“But eventually 24 handwritten letters arrived, one from each child, with personal accounts of what had happened to them in their past, their background and what they wished for in terms of clothes, socks, a bike or a pair of football shoes.”
Loza Foundation are now eager to make their wishes come true. To begin with, we will focus on warm clothes and shoes and then during spring 2019, the children will be given an allowance, which will pay for an activity of their choice that they have a talent for or an interest in. This could be anything from learning to play the guitar to riding a bike.
“We see this as an investment in each individual child. They get to feel they are good at something and get to participate in an activity where they express themselves and channel their energy into something positive”, says Sabina Grubbeson.
You can participate too by donating money to the project via Swish or Bankgiro. Just write “25th of May” in the comments field.
“We will be there for these children long-term. The children are the future of our world. It is important to give them the right circumstances to evolve and grow by investing in them right from the start”, says Sabina Grubbeson.