Suzana is 33 years old, and together with her husband Emran, 34, she has six children ranging from three to fifteen years old. Up until the 3rd of August 2022, the family lived on blankets under a bridge in Veles, North Macedonia, and all they collectively owned, apart from their youngest son’s pram, could easily fit into a plastic bag. However, Loza Foundation has now donated a house, which the family has moved into. From this point forward, there is an opportunity for this family to raise their life from extreme poverty and vulnerability to hopeful anticipation and increased safety.
“A home is a prerequisite to be able to get out of extreme poverty. Being able to take care of one’s personal hygiene and wash one’s clothes is fundamental to improving one’s situation and managing one’s health. When you don’t even have the option of keeping clean, you lose your dignity as a human. Loza Foundation is relieved and happy to be able to offer this family a home so that their most basic needs can be taken care of. They finally have a situation which allows the parents to work and the children to go to school”, says Sabina Grubbeson, Secretary-General, Loza Foundation.
Not having a roof over one’s head, having no income, and living in such vulnerable conditions as homelessness generally is, can also lead to health issues. Suzana has a slipped disc that needs an operation, she and Emran both suffer from heart disease, two of their children have chronic bronchitis, their 8-year-old has a hernia which needs an operation and their youngest boy suffers from severe cramps and stomach problems. The little money they manage to scrape together is spent on medicine, and the situation has gone from bad to worse, deteriorating every day.
“Emran and I want nothing more than to work and for our children to go to school. Now, when we are no longer homeless, we have the possibility of achieving this. Ever since we lost our house in a landslide several years ago, we have had to cope with a very stressful situation. To see your children feeling worse and worse without being able to put a roof over their heads is awful. As Emran’s and my health have deteriorated, our overall situation has worsened too. For the first time in many years, we can see a brighter future with the possibility of getting back on our feet and receiving help to tackle the family’s health problems”, says Suzana.
Homeless people in extreme poverty are often an unwanted aspect of society. Many choose to look away because of fear, prejudice, shame, guilt or because it is quite simply uncomfortable to see these people. When Loza first met the family in May 2022, the quest for a room to rent started straight away. After five failed attempts to sign a rental agreement, they decided to buy a house instead, as the situation was critical.
“We spent months looking for a room or a flat to rent for this family. There was no shortage of rentals, but time and time again, they were refused a lease. Finally, when they had been subjected to this humiliation for the fifth time, i.e. a landlord changing his mind when he met the family in person, it was time to change tactics and look for a house to buy instead. I get so angry, disappointed and frustrated when I see how vulnerable people are treated inhumanely, undignifiedly, and with no sign of empathy. Never before have the Loza intervention team or I had such a brutal and painful awakening as when we became aware of the horrendous discrimination poor people are subjected to.”
During Loza Foundation’s research trip in May, Sabina Grubbeson and the local intervention team visited ten or so destinations in North Macedonia. These locations, i.e. some of the most deprived places in the country, have been mapped within the framework of a review funded by European Aid, and a subsequent survey will be done in September 2022. At that point, the team will visit the remaining four of the fourteen most deprived areas.
When we visit Suzana and her family in September, they will have lived in the house for about a month. The children are starting school in September, and the Loza intervention team will carry on reviewing and supporting the family until their situation and health are stable. This venture with Suzana and her family has been made possible through monthly donations to Loza Foundation; 177 SEK per month is, for instance, enough for one child to go to school. A monthly contribution will cover food, clothes and school materials, which are crucial if a child living in extreme poverty is to go to school.
Thanks to people donating monthly and to our business partners, more children and their parents can leave deprivation and dejection behind and instead feel hopeful and a sense of dignity.
“To donate monthly, regardless of how large your monthly donation is, is an incredible contribution. Loza does not tie their donors to a specific sum or time frame; the donors set up a monthly donation of their choice and continue giving for as long as they like and can. Every single krona makes a difference, and together our donors can change the life situation for vulnerable, deprived people in extreme poverty, so that they can create a better life for themselves”, says Sabina Grubbeson, Secretary-General, Loza Foundation.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) declares that all children have the right to a home, and since 2019, the recommendation is that children should, as far as possible, live and grow up with their parents. Loza Foundation strives to support families with children in extreme poverty and prioritises them as the most deprived and vulnerable.
Click HERE to watch the film ‘No Poverty’ about Loza Foundation’s work for the poorest and most deprived.
Loza Foundation’s business partnerships:
Do you want to know how a business partnership works and how our partnerships enable us to help more families with children from extreme poverty? Find out more HERE.
If you want to become a business partner, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you want to give a monthly donation?
As a monthly donor, you support the work of Loza Foundation continuously. You can read more about monthly donations and how it works on our website. Become a monthly donor HERE.
Families with children in extreme poverty
Our support and mentor program ‘Children in extreme poverty in North Macedonia’ contribute to the UN Global Goals for sustainable development by working on goal no. 1: No poverty.
You can find out more about the UN Global Goals HERE.
For further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Sabina Grubbeson, founder and General-Secretary, +46 (0)733 21 38 23, email@example.com