“I go to beg with my child all day long. Some give us something, others don’t…I have no social security. We receive no social assistance. If only I could receive social assistance for my children, it would be better…”, says one of the interlocutors from the Tetovo Roma neighborhood for citizen journalist Hazize Junuzi. The video is a distressing story about a mother and her children from one of the joint yards in the neighborhood, who share a difficult fate, destined to misery and poverty…
Mevljude Krasnici: Well, as you can see, just as you have come to see us, so have others, watching with cameras, checking, but nobody has helped. Nobody helps. We have water leaking into the other room. I called them, for them to see the room, the water, the mood…Nobody came. And if they did, they would just enter the yard and would immediately leave.
How many members are you?
Mevljude Krasnici: There are three houses in the yard. They have never come to these three houses. They only come shortly, they record and then run off.
Did they bring you anything to eat and drink?
Mevljude Krasnici: Nothing, just mineral water. Nobody has brought us anything for our home. Here, as the Lord knows, we also have the right to speak. The entire neighborhood took food, we didn’t.
Did they visit you from the Municipality?
Mevljude Krasnici: They just walked in through the door, recorded inside, and then left. I kept asking them to come, because there is water inside. My children have nowhere to sleep, I have nothing to give them to wear. The water has created a whole river.
Is there any man working? What do you make a living from?
Mevljude Krasnici: No, my husband doesn’t work. I have only one social assistance of 3.000 denars. What can I do with the money, whether to buy diapers for the children, or something to eat? They are not enough for the entire month. I have five children. One of my twins died.
And what about the rest of you?
Ibadet Krasnici: It’s the same for us too, as my sister-in-law says, we were also the same, we live separately but in the same yard. We also have flooding just as them. I have two children. My husband doesn’t work; he goes to a landfill with bottles. With the horse, with the bottles. He doesn’t receive a salary…
Do you receive social welfare?
Ibadet Krasnici: I don’t receive social welfare.
Ibadet Krasnici: I submitted (a request) for the third child, but they didn’t accept it. I had controls, that’s why.
Do politicians come before elections? Do they promise you anything?
Ibadet Krasnici: No, they don’t…They come for us to vote for them, and don’t help us at all. I used to go to vote, but this time I didn’t go to vote for anyone.
And they promise to help you with something?
Ibadet Krasnici: They don’t help us, or anything else, we vote for nothing, and they did nothing for us, they said they would fix the road, but they didn’t.
Mevljude Krasnici: And when we go to beg, the police come. And we, if it weren’t for you – our children would die for bread.
What do the police do when they catch you?
Ibadet Krasnici: They take the children and send them to the Social service. Here, these are her children.
They send them to Skopje?
Ibadet Krasnici: Yes, we can barely take our children back… (points to the child) He can’t walk. If we don’t get social security for him, they don’t want to help him. I don’t know why they don’t want to help him. What can I do? I give him milk to drink. But I don’t have money to buy him milk. There are expenses, diapers…They say we should take him to physical therapy. They are sending us to an operation – to see what to do. Whether he will have an operation, I don’t know. I don’t know what to do? Here they don’t help us. I have been a hundred times to get social security for him, they don’t want to. For the big child and the little one. What to do? This is how we live…We have expenses, but we don’t have for food and drinking. He is a child, and wants to eat and drink. He doesn’t know that there isn’t any. And I go to beg with him, all day. Some will give us, others won’t. I don’t have social security. I don’t have any social welfare. If only I could receive social security for the children, it would be better…
This content is published within the framework of the June cycle of the competition “Be a citizen journalist” of CIVIL’s “Civic Lenses” project, supported by National Endowment for Democracy. The content of this article has been minimally edited by the editorial board of CIVIL Media, in accordance to the project concept and the website.