Little Novak’s Christmas Wish

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28. Jun NGO – 30/12/2019

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A society is judged by how it treats and shows compassion for those who cannot fend for themselves during hard times. In the poorest village in the poorest municipality in Serbia is where our volunteers met little Novak. The village of Rudare near Kursumlija sits a rock throw from the administrative boundary with Kosovo. Harassment by neighboring Albanians only increases during the Christmas holidays.

Lena is one of our hardest-working and most selfless volunteers. A refugee from Croatia as a child, this single mom spends all her free time volunteering to help others. She’s also known to be quite tough, so when the rest of our team saw her very emotional after our Christmas delivery to children in Kursumlija, we had to find out what happened.

After all the other children had collected their gifts and left, we were approached by a small boy, who came with his dad. He had obvious vision impairments but the team noticed other health problems as well. Our youngest volunteer, Lena’s 8-year-old son Danilo, gave him a gift, they hugged and shook hands. His father, a man who dedicated his life to caring for his son, took the team to the side and shared their struggles.

Novak has 5% vision left in both eyes, treatments from “specialists” have brought the family of two to financial ruin. The boy, who looks the same height as Danilo, is in the 5th grade and walks 5 kilometers to and from school every day alone. We later learned Novak’s mother had abandoned the family and our volunteers saw with their own eyes that their home resembled a run-down garage.

Novak shared with Danilo that he loves soccer — he’s a big Red Star Belgrade fan, and despite being barely able to see them, is obsessed with collecting cards of soccer players. When he grows up, he wants to be a harmonica player. Having such a strong mother, Danilo was saddened that Novak’s mama didn’t live with him. He plans to keep in touch and said he will give all his birthday money for Novak’s soccer cards.

This story was unexpected and we know our donors are overburdened. In 8 years we saw a lot of poor kids but this case has shaken our team to the core and they can’t get little Novak out of their minds.

Please donate now to help this boy: