Supplying Electricity to an Isolated Roma Encampment

Over 7 years ago while driving along an isolated country road we noticed a small Roma encampment of a few dilapidated shacks next to a tiny stream. Since we generally carry some humanitarian aid in the back of our vehicle, we stopped and went down to give them what we had with us. Handing out aid in larger Roma camps can often escalate into a grab-what-you-can free for all, but thankfully in this case there were only 6 adults and a handful of children, so we did not have any problem keeping things under control. The residents were polite and thankful, so we were happy to “adopt” them as one of our charitable initiatives. They said they needed milk for the children, so we turned around and went shopping for them, returning after an hour with several sacks of provisions and a bag of baby items for what appeared to be a soon-to-be-arriving newborn. We continued to help them whenever we could until that day we left Serbia for a new posting in Peru.

After a 3 year absence we returned and found (not to our surprise) that our friends were still there in the encampment. When we went down to say hello and give some aid and things for the children, they were very happy to see us. This time they had a special request – would we be able to bring them a generator so they could have electricity in the evenings? We took on the challenge and set out write two of our sponsors, Ed Brown and Judith Taylor, who have helped us greatly by contributing to our work over the years. Thanks to their generous donation we were able to purchase a high quality generator and all the accessories needed to get electricity into all  4 of the houses! We have also entered into talks with the local municipality to see what can be done to supply mains power to their little enclave.

To view the photos below on Healing Hearts Balkans Facebook page, click here.

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