Rhahim Gjekaj often feels very unwell. At age 53, he has numerous health problems, from constant headaches to hands that tremble uncontrollably. He survives off the social welfare pension in Kosova.
It is enough to manage, buying food for the family, and paying for transport fees to send his eldest child to secondary school, but there is not enough money left every month to try and fix his house, which has a roof that leaks and no heating, nor to have meat frequently in his diet.
“I live mainly on the good will of people,” he said.
“On different occasions, people have helped me in different ways. My oldest son Muhamet is 18 and is capable of work, but there are no job opportunities in our country.”
A typical meal for Rhahim, his wife and their three sons is white beans, sometimes with potatoes and spices.
“Meat is a rare part of our diet,” he added. “It might be once a month or on different occasions such as during Eid or other celebrations.
“It is difficult for me to afford meat for my family. The social benefit is not enough and we do not have any other sources of income.”
Rhahim believes part of his bad health is down to his poor diet.
“Health depends on a good feeling and weak food leads to weak health. My wife has headache problems as well. Our children do not have any health problems, thank God, although they eat the same food as us,” he said.
“Eid Al Adha brings joy to us. Many people come and help us and visit us to celebrate with us. If we are careful, the food pack from Islamic Relief can last us for about one month. My children will enjoy having a better diet than they have had for a long time.”
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