During the past year, activists of the Red Cross City Organization in Bijeljina have implemented several significant actions to help the poor, and by the end of last year they were able to provide assistance to about 350 families.
However, the needs are much greater as the number of socially disadvantaged is increasing, which is why they expect the help of donors and humane citizens to remedy the situation.
The Red Cross City Organization in Bijeljina will have less funding available this year. Out of the 40,000 marks received from the City Administration several years ago, the amount has been reduced for years, so that this year it will receive only 23,000 marks.
– We are the only organization with a quarter of the funds in the total budget of the city of Bijeljina. I think we deserve significantly more funding, given the needs. The budgets of other organizations in Srpska are much larger, for example in Banja Luka,
Prijedor and Doboj have more than 100,000 KM at their disposal. We will make an official request to the Mayor to return the funds and have at least 30,000 KM, which we had last year – said the Secretary of the City Organization of the Red Cross in Bijeljina, Perica Gligić.
He says that only 10,000 KM is needed for rent because this organization still does not have its own premises.
– Fortunately, we have our own income from a first aid course for drivers. If it hadn’t been, we could have locked the Red Cross. We use the funds provided by the City Government for running costs. In the last campaign we organized to help the socially disadvantaged before Christmas, we raised more money to divide the people than the city gave us. We only return it with one action – Gligić states. He points out that the situation is getting worse every year and that the number of socially disadvantaged persons is increasing.
– Only before the New Year, we seek financial help from businessmen in the city. For these holidays we received 10,000 KM, 35 roasts from the company “Intergaj”, 250 kilos of flour from the Mill “Pavlović”, and 14,000 marks from the Red Cross of Switzerland. Out of these funds, we distributed 250 parcels worth 50 stamps, and on current accounts of 172 users we paid funds from the Swiss Red Cross, between 50 and 100 stamps, depending on the number of family members – said Gligić. He points out that citizens and donors are less likely to help others.
– Citizens are mostly interested in donating clothes only. It’s not a problem either, but it’s that we often get the dirty wardrobe that is most common for a container. A number of citizens are doing this to get rid of surpluses around the house. I don’t think that’s right – says Gligić, adding that the organization currently needs the most food assistance because the number of hungry people is increasing.
How difficult the situation is, as evidenced by the fact that about fifteen persons address the Red Cross in Bijeljina every day.
– Most help is sought for the purchase of adult food and diapers. There are many people who really need help, but there is not enough goodwill to help them – says Gligić.