Man stands in front of his house in Bosnia; he'll be receiving a greenhouse from Islamic Relief so they can become self-sustainable

Building greenhouses for a sustainable future – Nezir’s story

Nezir and his family lived in the mountains of Srebrenica before the war, but when the fighting started they fled to the main city. When this was attacked, they trekked through the forest to seek refuge in Tuzla. In the six days it took them to get there, Nezir lost his brother and a number of other relatives.

Being internally displaced, Nezir couldn’t get a job or provide for his family. He felt at a loss.

“I never wanted to depend on someone. You can’t earn money for your family as a refugee; it’s so tough,” says Nezir.

Seven years later, in 2002, the family returned back to their home, only to find it completely destroyed. They had to cover the floors with spare material and use blankets for doors.

An elderly woman sits in front of her house. Her family will receive a greenhouse from Islamic Relief so that they can become self-sustainable

The couple have two children. Their son moved to the Czech Republic when he was 18 in search of work. Their mother is 81 years old and suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes.

“We’ve been living here ever since. I’ve done everything I can for us to survive here.”

In order to stay in their home, the couple have grown and sold raspberries and kept sheep, cows and bees, but in the winter they can’t work.

Like Selma and her family of 16, we’re providing Nezir’s family with their own greenhouse, as well as the training and equipment needed for them to make their own sustainable living from it. With this, they’ll be able to grow peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and green onions, not only to eat, but also to sell.

“I can’t find the right words to thank the donors. Islamic Relief Waqf is the first organisation to visit me since I returned here 13 years ago,” says Nezir. “I will be able to provide for my family with this greenhouse. If we work hard, everything will be alright.”

We’ll be making four other families self-sustainable through this project, but you can help us to reach more.

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