It is with a heavy heart that I write this post to you, my friend.
The unsuspecting devastation that has taken place in my homeland over the past week has been difficult to comprehend, to say the least.
If you’ve been following the news lately, then you’ve most likely seen the horrifying natural disaster that has continued to wreak havoc on my homeland of Bosnia and neighboring countries of Serbia and Croatia.
Last week, three months’ worth of rain fell on the region in three days, creating what have been claimed as the worst floods in over 120 years.
While it’s no shock that one day climate change will force us to abandon coastal cities, it is sad to see something like this happen to a place I once called home.
And so I need your help…
The three days of heavy rainfall triggered thousands of landslides across the country which have submerged cities underwater all over the country. Over half a million people have been left without homes and many others without food, water, and power.
Media outlets say dozens of lives have been lost, but inside sources tell me that many have yet to be accounted for.
The physical damage, while still not fully known, is potentially worse than the 1992-95 war that destroyed the country, claimed over 100,000 lives, and forced my family and I to flee the country many years ago.
“The consequences … are terrifying,” Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdžija told a news conference. “The physical destruction is not less than the destruction caused by the war. During the war, many people lost everything,” he said. “Today, again they have nothing.”
Much of my extended family is still back home, thankfully safe and sound at the moment.
My aunt, who lives in Doboj – a city that, in some places, was submerged under 4-6 meters of water – had to be rescued by boat from an apartment building.
My cousin, along with thousands of others, has been helping build a wall of sandbags around the Nikola Tesla power plant, which covers roughly half of Serbia’s electricity needs.
Thousands of people are being evacuated. Water levels on the River Sava are expected to grow, threatening the country’s biggest power plant. Roads have been rendered impassable and bridges have completely crumbled. Landslides have shifted and exposed thousands of dangerous landmines that still remain from the ’95 war.
All in all, over one million people have been affected by this disaster.
And they need help.
In Need of Aid
After a state of emergency was declared on May 15, 2014, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said the cost [of all the damage] in Serbia would run to hundreds of millions of euros and President Tomislav Nikolić appealed for outside aid. “We expect huge support, because not many countries have experienced such a catastrophe,” he said.
Thankfully, support has indeed been incredible. Countries and people from all across the world have been offering their support.
But I think we can still do more.
While it may be difficult for one person to make a difference, when we come together we can offer much needed hope and relief to thousands who have been affected.
Even the smallest contributions can make a difference.
Here’s how you can help…
Donate to the Flood Relief Fund
You can make direct donations to the flood relief program. The account belongs to the Serbian diplomatic mission of EU in Brussels and donations are automatically transferred to the Official Serbian Government special account for flood relief.
Any amount donated would be extremely helpful.
Purchase Jump Rope Ninja
Over the next week, 100% of the proceeds from sales of my Jump Rope Ninja program will be sent to the Flood Relief program. If you would like to make a donation by purchasing the program, you can do that here:
Again, all proceeds will be sent to the Flood Relief Program.
Send Supplies, Volunteer and Share
If you can’t make a donation, look for other ways to help.
Donate any supplies you may have to your local Red Cross branch. See if there are any fundraising events happening in your area where you can volunteer or rally people together and start your own.
At the very least, please help spread the message by sharing this post or letting others know what is happening.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for playing your part in helping support the thousands of people who have been affected. I appreciate you.