A lot of water flowed down the Drina river near Loznica in Western Serbia, but a lot of water also flooded the house of Fadil Mujkić. Due to the heavy rains, there was water in the walls, on the floor and on the furniture through the old, leaky roof under which five of them live, but there was not money to repair or replace the roof. 

I dreaded every cloud in the sky. Whenever it rains, we are flooded, and the last time the water completely destroyed the apartment and we had nowhere to go, complaints Fadil. Life in a dilapidated house near the modern sports centre “Lagator” was a constant concern for the Mujkić family. Until one day, the skies became clear for the Mujkić family…

They replaced the dilapidated house with a brand-new apartment. Through the “Social Housing and Active Inclusion Program” (EU SHAI) funded by the European Union, the Mujkić family and several hundred other most vulnerable people received new apartments. 

Fadil and many other beneficiaries of this assistance received, in addition to homes, the opportunity to take up a trade  and start earning and living from their work. In this way, the EU’s intention is to contribute to the greater social inclusion of women and men, girls and boys who live in poverty and are excluded from society, and to enable them to lead a dignified life and active participation in society. 

Fadil successfully completed his training and received a tile setter’s certificate. The entrepreneurial Mujić also learning the painting trade so he is already contracting the renovation and refurbishment of apartments – all that he could not do for years in his own home, with a damaged roof. 

Not only did I receive professional training, but I was also received a complete set of ceramic tools needed for work – and that is the most expensive, says this now well-known tile setter from Loznica. 

And while Fadil does “make-up” for apartments in Loznica and its surroundings, his eldest daughter does professional make-up for ladies in the city. The project enabled her to complete a beautification course, and in addition to make-up artist certificate, she also received a set of professional make-up tools and complete equipment for beautifying ladies. 

And that’s not all – Fadil’s other children received laptops and bicycles so that they can get to school on time, but also to get additional and modern education, for which the Internet and computers are a necessity nowadays. 

Fadil doesn’t take breaks between contracted apartment renovations and tile setting work – he spends that time managing the building where he got the apartment. They offered me to attend a training to become a building manager, which I accepted and now I am in charge of taking care of the building we live in, proudly says Fadil who is now constantly smiling. 

According to official data, more than 12 thousand citizens of Loznica are unemployed. Solving the housing issue, getting an opportunity for a job and a dignified life, as is the case with the Mujić family, is a great reward and hope for everyone who until recently lived on the verge of survival.

In order to improve living conditions, in a sustainable and responsible manner, for the most vulnerable women and men, girls and boys who live in inadequate and unsafe conditions throughout Serbia, the “European Union Support for Social Housing and Active Inclusion” (EU SHAI) program was launched.  EU SHAI was designed to implement social inclusion policies and provide sustainable housing solutions that are accompanied by active inclusion measures for the most vulnerable population. The European Union (EU) allocated 27 million euros for a project that the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is implementing in 19 cities and municipalities throughout Serbia, in order to provide more than 380 families with a roof over their heads and support for active inclusion.