Last winter, Loza Foundation donated clothes, shoes and warm winter jackets to the children at orphanages “25 May” and “11 October”. We are now keen on making their dream for a bike of their own come true too.
“It means a lot to the children, both from a sense of freedom as well as giving them confidence. A chance to feel just like anyone else despite the traumas many of them have had to go through”, says Sabina Grubbeson, founder of Loza Foundation.
In December 2018, Loza Foundation started their first aid project specifically aimed at children and this was at the “25 May” orphanage in Skopje, North Macedonia and we quickly went on to the next orphanage called “11 October” in the same area.
“The children were encouraged to write to us and tell us what they wished for. Many dreamt of having a bicycle of their own. For some, this was stated right at the top before anything else. One little boy wrote: ‘I have always dreamt of having my own bike, I really do need one. When I cycle, I feel free and happy and a bike would make me feel like I was just like all the other kids”, Sabina Grubbeson describes.
Last winter, Loza Foundation was in a position to give each child €100 to buy clothes and shoes with and they went shopping with staff members and volunteers. This autumn, we are finally making the big dream come true and donating a bicycle to each individual child. Every child, in total 50 of them between 5 and 18 years old, will be supplied with their very own bike, helmet and lock.
“This donation has been made possible thanks to a fundraiser initiative that Martin Bekken and Jonas Olofsson at BEWiSynbra, from our charity event Cycle4Europe, have come up with and implemented. I cannot begin to describe how fantastic this is.”
The idea is that the children will receive their bicycles the day before Cycle4Europe will start in Skopje, North Macedonia, where hundreds of cyclists will set off on their route. The event will span 2,500 kilometres, all the way from Skopje to Sweden, and the purpose is to highlight Loza Foundations’ work for the most vulnerable people in the poorest countries of Europe.
“The children at these orphanages have had a horrible ordeal and they are sadly not included in the normal Macedonian society. They don’t have the natural support of parents and family and therefore need extra support and guidance”, says Sabina Grubbeson.
When Loza Foundation talked to staff members and counsellors at the orphanages, they described the need these children have of being able to channel their sense of betrayal and deceit that the neglect has caused and that positive elements in their lives are utterly important for the children to have faith in the future. Because of this, Loza Foundation will not stop at bikes. They will also strive to present the children with the opportunity to enjoy different sort of activities.
“We will get to tag along for a longer period, see how the children and support them in their own individual needs. When they turn 18, they are no longer allowed to stay at the orphanage and we obviously want them to be mentally strong and comfortable in their own skin by then so that they can find a place in the Macedonian society.”
Do you want to join the Loza Foundation family and help a child in North Macedonia by donating on a monthly basis?