Wednesday, March 19, 2008

14 under one roof

Pictured above: Bahri Haliti interacts with his 2-year-old daughter Marjeta in their family’s living room. Bahri is one of 14 people living in their family’s farm house near the Ciciavica mountain range. (Michael Mason-D'Croz)

Bahri Haliti struggles to lead a family of 14 on land that has passed from father to son for generations. In 1999, Serbian attacks forced the family to leave its home for higher, safer ground - just to return to find the home destroyed by the Serbs.

Its home burned, all its possessions gone, this family rebuilt.

“It took us six months to rebuild our home” Bahri said.

Six months doesn’t do justice to the process that was – and has been – undertaken by Bahri and his family. Fourteen people live on the land – three generations – and they have only a three-room house completed.

That is not enough room for everyone to sleep, so Bahri and his family took to building what they call “barracks” to house the rest. Two “barracks” later and they finally have a roof over every head. However, this roof is mostly plastic tarp, no proper roof for them all.

On top of all that, the family’s work horse recently died. It didn’t have the money to afford a new horse, and in came World Vision. With a loan, Bahri bought a new work horse.

Yes, things are looking up for Bahri. With the new horse, his brother’s new job, his father’s job, social security and him working the land, this large family is able to survive.

They are not rich in money, but the family life that they live is rich beyond that of most others in the world. Faced with adversity, Bahri and his family have made the best that they – or anyone else – could.

Bahri isn’t the only family struggling since the war; many families have to deal with loss of land and loved ones.

No comments: