December, 2005

Dear friends, I'd like to begin by saying a big thankyou to Robin Thornber of Surrey street, Glossop. Robin very kindly Created a page for EETEP on his website. He's done a great job of it and hopefully it'll generate some interest from the public. Thanks a lot Robin, lets hope it'll bring some help. Well, I've just got back from another trip to Bosnia and although the trip went well funding is becoming a serious issue…

The work we're doing in Bosnia needs to be done, of this I'm sure. However, without some help we run the risk of grinding to a halt. As usual my credit card has taken a beating but in order to keep things going at the moment there's no alternative. Our sponsor fund that's set up in the UK has just made its first transfer of £190 (532 mark) to Bosnia and this has been a great help. Although we don't have enough sponsors as yet, it means that EETEP only has to top up the sponsor money rather than pay it in full, so this really has made a difference. Thank you to everyone who's contributing via standing order.


During this visit EETEP has at last sorted out Ramza, our 72-year-old goat herder. To complete this six-month project we took her a good quality sleeping bag (purchased from Argos) and a big box full of tinned food. Lino was laid in her kitchen and a good size rug was put down to keep the place a bit warmer. Although her home isn't up to our UK standards, it's certainly acceptable. Ramza will always benefit from the Bosnian sponsorship fund but as far as EETEP's concerned the time has come to move on to other projects and we don't intend giving any further assistance (except in the event of an emergency).


The ongoing house building project for Mustafa (in Dzakola) is also nearing an end - the house is built and Mustafa's living in it. The small home has a wood burning cooker, carpet, and two settees. Electricity is still a problem at the moment; we have him connected to his old place but his old home needs to be flattened. Connection with the main power supply will have to be made before any demolition is carried out. In addition to this a well needs to be dug for water, the house needs painting inside and some cosmetic work is also needed on the outside. Mustafa looked like a new man when we visited him and remarked that his general well-being was so much improved now he has somewhere warm and dry to live. I did feel that although this project had cost a lot of money it's been worth every penny. EETEP will continue to help Mustafa with his new home and we'll also help out with food parcels and furniture in the coming months.


The best part of the trip for me was spent with Ajisa, Adem and Merima. They're already benefiting from the Bosnian sponsor fund but Merima still causes us concern; she was born with Down's Syndrome and has many health problems. Due to a heart condition she can't walk very far and this makes her a virtual prisoner in her own home. A few weeks ago I'd been talking with Peter Mitchell (managing director of a wheelchair company in Audenshaw) about Merima's plight, and he very kindly offered to help us with the donation of a mobility scooter. This was music to my ears! Peter sorted out a scooter for us and we took it to Merima in Bosnia. The whole family was thrilled, for the first time in ten years Merima will get some independence back. All thanks to Peter. Again, we left food parcels and a box of paper and felt tips etc. for Merima.


The next project was much harder work than our previous visit. We'd decided to repair the home of Mislavka Dautovic and her 13-year-old son Filip. The roof needed completely replacing and the exterior walls needed to be insulated. Two windows and two doors were also needed. Due to the time factor we met up with a builder in Bosnia to discuss the roof. Zijo has worked for us before and he's an excellent builder. He always keeps the cost down to a minimum and I trust him 100%.

He agreed to replace the roof at a cost of 3,000 mark but due to the weather conditions, was unsure when he could do the job. We've left the money in Bosnia for Zijo so he can get the materials ready for a break in the weather. We found a company in Bosnia who supplied and fitted windows and doors made-to-measure and we thought it was going to cost a fortune. However Ame (the owner) came back with the price of 720 mark (£257). This price was for the complete job so we told him to get it done. That was on Tuesday. By Saturday, the job was finished. Now that's service! Insulation wise, and being a former builder, I went down to the builders yard and bought all the relevant materials.

We constructed a wooden frame against the wall inside the house then we packed it with polystyrene for insulation. We then plaster-boarded the whole thing out then plastered it. One hour before I left Bosnia I was still troweling up the plaster and finishing the job off, that's how tight we were for time. Another project that came about when we were in Bosnia was when we met a Muslim family from Dzakola. They’re in need of many things. The father (Ramiz Ahmedbasic) is a landmine victim - his legs were saved but he has difficulty walking. He's married with three children, ages six to ten and his home is a need of repair (it's one of the old Bosnian construction houses like the one Mustafa had). This family really needed help.

They urgently needed a bathroom suite, so EETEP supplied a second-hand one to them and Ramiz will fit this himself. We told Ramza we'd try to get some money together for around March so the other building work can be done. This is the thing in Bosnia, the people will work themselves out of hardship if given the chance. Life in Bosnia is hard and EETEP can only do so much, but what we can do is be there with assistance - however small - it really does make a difference and the people of Bosnia just need some hope. If in some small way we can offer that to them, then it's all been worthwhile. The total cost of this trip is £2,150 which is why we need your help. We can't do this alone so please don't just read this and toss it to one side, help us! Thank you.