Through Loza Foundations aid project, the children at the children’s home ”25 May” in Skopje, Macedonia have now been given warm clothes and shoes for the winter. Founder Sabina Grubbeson was there when the 24 children got to go on the first shopping trip of their life.
– To get to see the sheer joy in the eyes of the children, it was just such an amazing feeling!
Sabina Grubbeson travelled to Macedonia in January in order to be there when the children at the children’s home “25 May” in Skopje were given winter clothes. The 24 children aged between 11 and 18 have just moved out from the bigger institution, previously subjected to scandalous accusations, and into smaller group residencies.
“Today 5-6 children live in each house together with a staff member from the children’s homeand the children are sharing rooms two and two”, Sabine Grubbeson, founder of Loza Foundation tells us.
”25 May” is the Loza Foundation’s first aid project specifically directed at children. Through donations from various corporations and private individuals, the foundation has been able to carry out their first relief effort, namely to give the children warm clothes and shoes for the winter. Joined by ten volunteers, invited by Glorija Naumovska, project coordinator at Loza Foundation in Macedonia, the children were allowed to go on their first shopping trip and purchase their own clothes.
“These youngsters are used to being given hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes, so to just enter the shopping mall and being allowed to buy something for themselves was a big thing. They had been waiting for this day for months and they were full of anticipation.”
This proved to be a memorable day for both children and volunteers alike. Sabine describes how the children’s initial shyness inside the stores, soon changed into elation and lots of laughter.
“Young Osman, 11 years, and Leonardo, 12 years, were especially curious about how the credit card worked and wanted to know everything there was to know about how the money could come from the plastic card and into the till. Eventually, the employees in the shop let Leonardo help out as he was so inquisitive. Both the shop assistants and the volunteers laughed with delight and the atmosphere was simply wonderful, it makes me smile just thinking about it”, says Sabina.
When the shopping trip came to an end, each child had been given a whole bag full of various garments including winter shoes, winter jacket, trousers, sweaters, underwear and socks.
“During the day, the children, the manager of the children’s home and the volunteers discussed what they all thought each child needed the most. The children also learnt what a budget is, what a budget might include and they helped each other out to count how much they had been shopping for.
Apart from the clothes donation, Loza Foundation has also made an activity contribution for each child so that he/she will be able to develop his/her own interest or hobby. For instance one of the boys wanted to learn how to drive and get a driving license in order to increase his chances of finding a job when he finishes school. So, this means he has now been able to enrol at the local driving school.
“It is important to contribute wherever and with whatever we can to give these children the opportunity to land on their feet and enter the adult society in the best possible way.”
Apart from ”25 May”, Loza Foundation will help one more children’s home in Macedonia called “11 October”
“A few of the children have siblings there and we will carry out the projects in the same way as we have just done at “25 May”. We have already started talking to the children at “11 October” to find out what they wish for. Some of them say they would like to learn English, one child wished for a guitar and several were dreaming of having their own bike”, says Sabina.
Loza Foundation plans to follow these two children’s homes for a long period of time to ensure that the children receive the help they need and what will give great results.
“Our goal is to give these children a chance to succeed in the future, to gain self-confidence and have faith in the future. These are the sort of things that make all the difference!”