Towards the end of 2021, Loza Foundation started collaborating with 14 companies where the aim was to work together to reduce extreme poverty and help some of the poorest families in Europe to a sustainable life. The partnership is based on the UN’s Global Goals with a particular focus on Goal no. 1, i.e. No Poverty, and will run throughout 2022. Thanks to these efforts, one of the families has already been moved into a home of their own for the first time, and that has been achieved within the first three months of the project. This is the story of six-year-old Samira and her family.
Samira is six years old and her family consists of Samira’s mummy, Asbija, Samira’s daddy called Albert, her two sisters Enisa (14 yrs) and Natalia (9 yrs) and her big brother Kevin (10 yrs). Samira’s family has been homeless throughout her short life and has been forced to move numerous times and swapped one shed or barrack for another. Their last place was part of a settlement in the outskirts of Skopje. During the first few weeks of January 2022, there were several heavy downpours, and the shed the family lived in got flooded.
“Loza has worked with this family for two years to create the right conditions and opportunity for them to get out of the extreme poverty they have suffered up to now. It is a complex task that requires a lot of commitment, both short-term and long-term, and it requires lots of resources, both monetary and other contributions. But, thanks to the support from our partner companies, we could act quickly and help the family”, says Sabina Grubbeson, Secretary-General, Loza Foundation.
In February, a house that Loza Foundation has acquired was renovated. The house has one room and a kitchen, with electricity, water and wastewater drainage. Unfortunately, due to the acute situation that arose in January, the family had to move into their new home before the house was finished and furnished, but even so, the family was so relieved and happy.
“I cannot remember when we last slept in a real house. We have lived in sheds and ramshackle constructions without running water or electricity for such a long time. Even though we slept on the floor the first few nights in the house, I felt very happy, safe, and calm, both as a mother and as a human being. Now, my children can sleep safe and sound, with a roof over their heads in a home of our own, where we can lock the front door. I can hardly believe it is true”, says Asbija.
The next few months will involve significant adjustments for the family. The Loza support team will be on hand to support them through this period, to facilitate the change from homelessness, social alienation and extreme poverty to inclusion in the local community and implementation of everyday routines that work. The children have been enrolled at school, so Samira’s older siblings will start at the local school, and Asbija will look for work.
Samira has just started kindergarten and when she grows up, she wants to be a police officer.
“When I grow up, I want to put people who do bad things in jail, so they cannot steal anymore or do other damage.”
Natalia, nine years old, wants to study to become a doctor, which now is not just a dream but a realistic, doable plan.
“I want to become a doctor and treat ill people. I want to help them feel good and be happy.”
When Loza started working with this family two years ago, they had five square metres to themselves in a house without windows and just a piece of fabric serving as their front door. For most of their life, this family has lived from hand to mouth, collected scrap metal and plastic, or begged in the street to survive.
“It is a long way from extreme poverty to inclusion in the local community and society on the whole, and to have a well-functioning everyday life. The Loza Foundation project ‘Families in extreme poverty’ works long-term to ensure that the most vulnerable, poorest children are given a better life”, Sabina Grubbeson explains.
Both 6-year-old Samira and 9-year-old Natalia are sponsored by Swedish support families, who make monthly donations to Loza Foundation. Thanks to their support, Loza can invest in the future of these children and for Samira, which means she gets her very own bed for the first time in her life.
Samira and her family have begun a new chapter in their life, and the Loza support team will do everything they can to guide them towards a brighter future.
Loza Foundation partnership with companies
Families in extreme poverty
For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Sabina Grubbeson, founder and Secretary-General, +46 (0)733-21 38 23, email@example.com