Shyqyrije Selani, 76, lives in a collective centre in Vrelle, Mitrovica. She came to the centre after the Kosova war, and years later, is still unable to return to her home village.

“I am from the northern part of Mitrovica,” Shyqyrije told us last year. “We had a house and livestock before the war. After the war ended, I came here for just a few months, thinking that we would go back to our land.

“Unfortunately, the situation worsened and now there is no chance we can go back home. Our house was burned to the ground. However, if we were free to go to the village we could at least cultivate something for ourselves.”

Difficult living conditions

With her three children now grown-up and living with their families in the city, Shyqyrije lives with her cousin in the collective centre.

“It is too cold during the winter: rain and snow leak through the roof. There are no facilities for cooking – though thanks to some donors I have a washing machine. Sanitation is bad too, in most cases we have a joint bathroom. There are not many people here due to the poor living conditions.”

Struggling to find food

Shyqyrije relies on a small social welfare allowance from the government.

“This money is not enough. I am not able to work or do any activity to earn money. As an old woman it is hard to live in this situation. I struggled to find food, especially when I first came to this area. However, we survive thanks to the people of goodwill who come and help us.

“I only know it is Eid when people come and help us. At Eid, we visit others here in the collective centre. Usually, we eat whatever people provide us with. We do not have enough money to buy food and there is no opportunity to grow anything here.”

In 2013, Shyqyrije received a three-kilogram package of frozen meat through Islamic Relief’s Qurbani programme. She was amongst more than 12,000 people in Kosova to benefit from the scheme, which provides vital nutrition to poor families at Eid.

“Sometimes we buy milk and eggs, or anything that is cheap. Meat is expensive. We do not even think about buying it. We only eat meat when people like you give it to us. I am only coping thanks to the donations of good people at Ramadan, Eid and other festival days. Thank you very much.”

You can provide vulnerable people like Shyqyrije with comfort and joy at Eid. Donate to our Qurbani appeal today.

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