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 »  Home  »  Bilingual  »  Sarma and Bebek in Haiti
 »  Home  »  Charity  »  Sarma and Bebek in Haiti
Sarma and Bebek in Haiti
By Sandra Stanic | Published  05/12/2015 | Bilingual , Charity | Unrated
Croatian mission serves an orphanage in the capital of the quake-ravaged country

Forty-five children- Haitians by birth and origin, and their favourite song is "Sinoć sam pola kafane popio" - transl. Last night I drank half of the bar' - by Željko Bebek (former lead singer of Bijelo Dugme). They are orphans in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and were rescued by the Croatian Relief Services, Inc.

Emerson is seven years old and calls himself Commander. His favorite hero is Batman and he wants to be a truck driver when he grows up. He is one of the forty-five abandoned children who have shared the same destiny, roof and family for the past five years, at the Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Home in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. The Children’s Home was founded by reverend Giordano Belanich, a priest with an American address and of Croatian heart. He was five when his family was forced to flee communist Yugoslavia. Fr Belanich oversees the orphanage while servicing three parishes in the United States. The orphanage is currently run by three Croatian loving nuns from Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sisters Liberija Filipovic, Miriam Filipovic and Ana Uložnik.

The children's ages at the orphanage range from youngest, Max, 19 months old and the eldest, Naelle, seventeen years old. All the children go to school, have a roof over their heads and hot meals. Their birthdays, holidays, and academic success are all celebrated, and most importantly, how they grow in love. But it wasn't always like this.

AFTER THE 2010 HAITI EARTHQUAKE

Most of the children arrived in the chaos after the earthquake in January 2010. The initial shock of the earthquake registered at 7.0, and soon followed by more. The devastation in Haiti was so great because of the country's lack of building codes. After the quake, the disaster area was a landscape of collapsed and disintegrated buildings. Father Gio remembers that in the beginning, people brought children to the home covered in blood and crying silent and heartbreaking tears. No one wanted to sleep inside the house because they were too scared, and weeks after the earthquake, aftershocks and tremors continued to petrify everybody. In the months and years after, the Home continued to accept children. Often, families would come and beg the staff to take their children because they could not feed them.

CROATIAN INFLUENCE

The three nuns who came to serve the mission in January, 2014 continued with teaching the children to sing and pray in Croatian. Croatian influence started with Croatian lay women serving the mission three years prior to the nuns arrival. Now, sisters have plans to make "sarma" a new national dish in Haiti! The nuns decorate eggs with children for Easter, and they taught them the tradition of Sveti Nikola on December 6. The children also enjoy Croatian games such as Slijepi miš (transl. Blind Mice), Ringe ringe raja etc. Before bedtime they pray "Anđele Čuvaru Mili" (transl. Guardian angel)in Croatian. Sr Ana also decks on a soccer jersey and plays soccer on the field with the kids. These children are showered in love.

DAILY LIFE

A lot of improvisation takes place, patching when there is no permanent solution, but the staff and children get by. Nights are troublesome because the orphanage is surrounded by the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince. Gunshots are everyday noise. Kidnaping, robbery and even murder are frequent and violent. Clean water is like the Holy Grail, and having a well in our yard means we are at constant risk of new attacks and robberies. Currently, the attacks on religious communities are news throughout Haiti. We have been the target of multiple armed robberies. In one incident, the solar panel for the water purifier was stolen, leaving the orphanage temporarily without access to safe water in a city fighting a cholera epidemic. Leaving the house requires watching over your shoulder, precautions in form of machetes hidden under the car seat, police batons and large sunglasses. Closed windows of vehicles are required no matter if the temperature surpasses 40 Celsius and it is sizzling hot, without a single breeze.

THE FUTURE

The needs of the orphanage are still enormous, and resources are limited. Future plans include a project to build a mission house for visitors and thus make the first step towards self-sustainability for the orphanage, which is desperately needed. The project is estimated to be worth $170,000. There are also other needs such as the boys require their own dorm and showers and currently the roof is in need of repair. Plus the ongoing costs of food, education and medicine still need to be met.

Nerlie (11) says "Tell the people who are helping us that we are good kids and that we will be even better, because if it weren’t for them, we would never have had any chance. And look at us now.”

If you would like to be part of the Croatian community in helping the orphans at the Cardinal Stepinac Children Home in Haiti by getting involved, please visit croatianreliefservices.org and donate what you can, like and follow on Facebook/croatianreliefservices and/or email Sandra Stanic at croatianreliefservices@gmail.com.

Četrdeset i petero djece- Haićani po rođenju i podrijetlu, a omiljena im je pjesma "Sinoć Sam Pola kafane popio" Željka Bebeka (bivši pjevač Bijelog dugmeta) i najviše vole sarmu. Oni su siročad u najsiromašnijoj zemlji zapadne hemisfere, a spasila ih je upravo hrvatska misija- Croatian Relief Services, Inc.

Emersonu je sedam godina i sam sebe zove Zapovjednik. Omiljeni junak mu je Batman, a sam želi biti vozač kamiona kad odraste. On je jedan od četrdeset i petero štićenika, koji dijele istu sudbinu, krov i obitelj posljednjih pet godina u Dječjem Domu kardinala Stepinca u Port-au-Princeu, glavnom gradu ove najsiromašnije zemlje u obje Amerike. Misiju je osnovao velečasni Giordano Belanich, svećenik američke adrese i hrvatskog srca. Njemu je bilo dvanaest godina kad je njegova obitelj bila prisiljena napustiti komunističku Jugoslaviju. Velečasni Belanich nadgleda sirotište na Haitiju i vodi tri župe u New Jerseyu gdje je osnovao i hrvatsku zajednicu koja se također okuplja pod Stepinčevim imenom i zaštitom. Sirotište trenutno vode tri hrvatske redovnice iz Bosne i Hercegovine, sestre- Liberija Filipović, Miriam Filipović i Ana Uložnik.

Štićenici u sirotištu su svi redom malodobni, u rasponu od najmlađeg Maxa, kojemu je 19 mjeseci i najstarije Naelle, kojoj je sedamnaest godina. Sva djeca idu u školu, imaju krov nad glavom i topli obrok. Ovdje se u obiteljskom okruženju slave dječji rođendani, praznici, i školski uspjesi, i što je najvažnije, oni rastu u ljubavi. Ali nije uvijek bilo tako.

Haiti nakon potresa 2010.

Većina djece u sirotište je stigla u kaosu nakon potresa u siječnju 2010. Početni šok od potresa registrirana na 7,0, a ubrzo nakon toga više. Razaranje na Haitiju je bilo katastrofalnih razmjera zbog vrlo slabe infrastrukture i velike bijede uopće. Epicentar potresa bio je nedaleko glavnog grada, u Leoganu, gdje je većina objekata bila u potpunosti sravnjena sa zemljom. Velečasni Gio sjeća se da su su u početku ljudi donosili djecu prekrivenu krvlju koja su plakala tihe i srceparajuće suze. Nitko nije htio spavati u kući u strahu od ponovnog udara, a tjednima nakon potresa neprestana podrhtavanja tla samo su produživala agoniju. Mjesecima i godinama nakon ove tragedije, Croatian Relief Services nastavio je misiju spašavanja djece. Često, obitelji dolaze i mole osoblje da uzmu djecu jer ih obitelj ne može hraniti.

HRVATSKI UTJECAJ

Tri redovnice koje su došli služiti misiju u siječnju 2014. godine nastavile su tradiciju iz Domovine; uče djecu pjevati i moliti na hrvatskom jeziku. Hrvatski utjecaj započeo je s hrvatskim volonterima koji su služili misiju tri godine prije dolaska redovnica. Danas, sestre imaju planove da "sarmu" uvrste kao novo nacionalno jelo na Haitiju. Ukrašavaju se pisanice s djecom za Uskrs, sestre im prenose tradiciju Svetog Nikole, Božića i ostalih blagdana. Djeca uživaju u hrvatskim igrama kao, primjerice, "Slijepi miš", i svi se spuštaju u čučanj kad susjed Pajo razbije jaja na kraju "Ringe Ringe raja". Prije spavanja mole "Anđele Čuvaru Mili" na hrvatskom jeziku. Sestra Ana je kapetanica nogometne momčadi i u dresu predvodi djecu dok igraju nogomet u dvorištu. Ova djeca su obasuta ljubavlju.

SVAKODNEVNI ŽIVOT

Improvizacija je glavna valuta, "krpanje" kad nema trajnog rješenja i snalažljivost su ključni u zemlji s milijun problema i nepostojećeg sustava. Noći su problematične jer je sirotište okruženo najsiromašnijim i najopasnijim četvrtima u Port-au-Princeu. Pucnji iz raznog oružja su svakodnevna buka. Otmice, pljačke i ubojstva su česte i nasilne. Čista voda je poput Svetog Grala, sirotište ima svoju vlastitu vodu i pročišćivač u dvorištu što znači da je u stalnoj opasnosti od novih napada i pljački. Trenutno su napadi na vjerske zajednice glavna vijest na Haitiju. Sirotište je bilo meta više pokušaja razbojništva. U jednom incidentu ukraden je solarni panel za pročišćivač vode bez čega je sirotište privremeno bilo bez pristupa čistoj vodi u vrijeme epidemije kolere na otoku. Svaki izlazak iz kuće zahtijeva posebane mreze opreza, gledanje preko ramena, mačete skrivene pod sjedalo automobila, policijske palice i velike sunčane naočale. Zatvoreni prozori vozila su nužni bez obzira na pasju vrućinu i temperature preko 40 Celzijevih stupnjeva, bez daška vjetra.

BUDUĆNOST

Potrebe sirotišta su i dalje ogromne, a sredstva ograničena. Planovi za budućnost uključuju projekt za izgradnju misijske kuće za posjetitelje i time bi ostvarili prvi korak prema samoodrživosti misije, koja je prijeko potrebna. Projekt se procjenjuje na 170.000 američkih dolara. Tu su i druge potrebe, primjerice, odvojena spavaonica za dječake s tuševima, kao i krov koji prokišnjava. Uz sve to; troškovi hrane, obrazovanja i medicinske njege trebaju biti ispunjeni svaki mjesec.

"Reci ljudima koji nam pomažu da smo dobra djeca i da ćemo biti još bolji, jer da nije bilo za njih, mi nikada ne bi imali nikakve šanse. A pogledaj nas sada", poručuje Nerlie (11).

Ukoliko niste, a želite biti dio hrvatske zajednice i pomoći siročadi kardinala Stepinca u Dječjem Domu na Haitiju, posjetite nas na croatianreliefservices.org i pomozite donacijom, ili nas pratitie na Facebook stranici https://www.facebook.com/croatianreliefservices i / ili e-mailom na croatianreliefservices@gmail.com












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