Pacariz Sehija is a mother-of-three from Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After being forced out of their home in the 1990s, Pacariz and her husband returned to their village fourteen years ago. Last Ramadan, your donations provided them with an iftar foodpack to help them observe Ramadan. We spoke to Pacariz last year.

“I live here in the village of Lubure with my husband, Nezir. We make our livelihood from farming, and we have two goats and a few chickens. Our typical day consists of household work for me while my husband farms outside. We both take care of our goats.”

“Our three children live in Sarajevo – they would like to return to their village like we did, but that’s not possible because of the poor living conditions here.  The closest school is about ten miles away, and it will be closing soon because of a lack of pupils. There is no water network, electricity, or telephone line. We cannot store food to be kept for other days.

“We are returnees to our area; we returned in 2009 and rebuilt our home using our savings and with the support of donations. Seven years ago I underwent surgery for breast cancer, my health deteriorated after that and I underwent several other operations.”

“Conditions here are very poor. Before the war, our village was a very nice place to live- with an ambulance, school, herbal medical stores. We lived a normal life. Despite the poor conditions today, I have to say that I have found an inner peace as this is my birthplace.

“I have been fasting in Ramadan since I was a child, and now, even though Ramadan fell in the very hot and long summer days, I’m able to fast. Sometimes I stay indoors, out of the sun and I avoid any heavy work in the field. My religion is a great source of energy for me – as it is for my husband.”

Last Ramadan, your donations provided 2,250 families in Bosnia with an iftar foodpack which lasted 10 days for an average family. Weighing nine kilograms, each foodpack contained rice, wholemeal flour, beans, oil, pasta, tinned meat. Sugar, spices, dates, tomato puree and chocolate spread were also provided.

Through your zakat, you can help us reach even more families in Bosnia next year. Donate to our Ramadan campaign.

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