Fareeha Amir is Media Specialist at Islamic Relief USA.
Maglaj was one of the first flood-affected regions in Bosnia when the worst flood in almost 100 years washed away homes and land. During the worst of the flooding, the water level in Maglaj climbed over 2 meters. It took four whole days for the water to recede. And when it did, 53-year-old Verica Marti only had the ceramic tiles left in her house.
For two days and two nights, everything in her house was underwater. Everything needed repair—from the ceiling to the insulation. Walking among her soaked belongings, Verica remembers the despair she felt sifting and searching for anything she could salvage. The few things she recovered, she took to a neighbor’s house to keep safe until she could figure out what she’d do next.
“One day you have everything, and the next day you have nothing,” she said.
Islamic Relief teams in Bosnia helped repair 39 homes, including Verica’s—homeowners were given anything they needed in order to fix their living spaces and get their lives back on track.
For Verica, the doors, balcony and furniture were all destroyed in the floods—Islamic Relief gave her back her doors, brand new, and repaired the balcony and window.
In order to restore the walls and keep the house sanitary, teams peeled the old walls away to ensure no mold would grow where they once stood.
The repairs were extensive, but fast. Renovations began in December and Verica was able to move into her restored and clean home by March.
“I can’t believe what happened to me. And I also can’t believe I’m already back in my clean home!” Verica said.
The effort was a huge help to Bosnians who were already struggling to maintain their living situation. Many are unemployed, including Verica.
Providing emergency assistance during difficult times for people who are in dire need can be life-saving. In Bosnia, Islamic Relief is reaching orphans and the elderly too with donor support.
It’s the kind of assistance that keeps people’s hopes high and inspires them to join in helping rebuild their own community too.
“Can you imagine where I would have been without this help? Where would I go?“ Verica shrugged.
And people from all over Bosnia came to help support the Islamic Relief USA funded project that helped rehabilitate homes for flood survivors.
“This effort didn’t just bring my life back, it brought my community together to help each other too. They saw that someone cared enough to help from far away, so they had hope too,” Verica said.