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Every day, Divna watches air max 90 black as a team of builders makes progress with the one thing she needs more than anything - a home of her own. It will be a simple dwelling, with three bedrooms, a bathroom and running water. To Divna, it is a palace.
On a recent trip to Bosnia with Irish Bosnia Aid, Dublin housewife Carmel Gorman was so moved by the plight of the 32-year-old who lived in one room with all nine children, she came home determined to get her a house.
"I had no idea how to go about it," says Carmel. "All I knew was that this family were desperate. A local woman had given them a room in her house where they all squeezed in. Two babies slept in one cot, four children in one set of bunk beds, and three children with Divna in another bed. My grandson's playroom is luxury compared to this.
"She has no money - there is no social welfare in Bosnia - and she lives on handouts. Her husband was so ravaged by his experiences fighting in the front line in the recent war in Bosnia he's now in a psychiatric institution. Everyone says the war changed him utterly. I found it heartbreaking."
Carmel spoke to Fr Svetozar, a priest who looks after the 'Mothers' air jordans for sale Village' in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a place where unmarried mothers, orphans, drug addicts and jeremy scott adidas others find refuge. They could organise a site and builders, he said. The problem was where to get the cash. It would cost ?30,000 to build a modest, three-bedroom house with running water.
That, Carmel decided, was achievable. She and friends accompanying her on the trip had a brainstorm and came up with a simple idea - buy a car and raffle it. She immediately called her husband in Ireland. Carmel reckoned that as President of the National Taxi Drivers' Union, Tommy would surely know where to get a car at the right price.
"I got this call back in May and I thought, okay, I'm sure I can source a car cheaply enough given the isabel marant sneaker sale circumstances," says Tommy Gorman. "Peter Butler of MD Motors was fantastic. He advised on the right car, and agreed to sell it to us at the right price, so we got ourselves a VW Beetle convertible and I thought that was my end of it finished. buy celine online As it turned out, it was only the start."
Newcomers to mulberry outlet york charity fundraising, the pair sat down and worked out what they needed to do next. Tickets had to be printed and sold. They had to decide how many to print, what to charge and how to distribute them. They would need a deadline for the raffle to take place - and why not turn that event into a fund-raising function?
"One thing led to another, and I found myself talking to Jurys Hotel and set a date for September 19 for the event. I had to organise entertainment, and we got a adidas jeremy scott great air max sale line-up of Eileen Reid, Sonny Knowles, the Brass Necks and Shaun Connors. Ray Shah from
Big Brother drew the ticket and it was supervised by former garda commissioner Pat Byrne.
"In the run-up to the night, the taxi drivers adidas jeremy scott were superb. They bought books of tickets and passed them round to their friends and contacts. The money came rolling in, and the mulberry outlet store night itself raised ?12,500. We ended up meeting our target of ?50,000. This gave us enough to pay for the car and the rest went jeremy scott wings to Divna's house. The function was on a Tuesday, and the money was in Bosnia with Fr Svetozar that Friday."
Fr Svetozar sent a painting by a local artist back over to Ireland to thank Carmel and Tommy and the Irish people for their kindness. Through Irish Bosnia Aid, he has kept them posted on progress to date. The house is being built in Divna's home village where she will be part of a community with her father, family and friends. Carmel and Tommy plan to go over there next May when the house is completed and celine bag online the family settled in.
The Gormans are delighted with the success of the project and modest about their own roles. They mention people like Des Kelly who contributed hugely, the taxi drivers who gave the venture their full support, the performers who entertained on the night and countless others. Kay Barry, founder of Irish Bosnia Aid, is clear about who built Divna's house though. "Without Carmel and Tommy it wouldn't have happened," she says. "Carmel was determined to help this woman, and Tommy made her vision a reality. He's a busy man and worked tirelessly to see it through."
But Tommy was happy to help. "I always say that whatever you give you get back," says Tommy, whose own life has some uncanny parallels with this story. Like Divna's family, he is one of nine, and they spent their early years in one room in a jeremy scott wings block in Mountjoy Square before moving to a two-bedroom house in Cabra. "We were poor, but my mother always made sure we had at least one square meal a day," he says. "This woman has nothing. It would be hard enough rearing nine kids on isabel marant the dole in this country. I find it hard to believe that with so much wealth in the world today this kind of thing is still happening, yet sadly it is."
* According to Kay Barry, who founded Irish Bosnia Aid (IBA) 14 years ago, Divna Susak is one of the lucky ones. "Thanks to Tommy and Carmel Gorman and all the people who supported their campaign, she now has a house. There are many others like her living in refugee camps where conditions are appalling.
"The world has forgotten about the people of Sarajevo, Kosovo and the Balkan states and they are hungry. We have food kitchens where you'll find all kinds of people, including professionals, queueing up for food. We feed every hungry human being, regardless of their ethnic background or religion.
"I often wonder how, with all the money used to bomb these states, they couldn't build them back up again and create jobs."
Kay first set up IBA 14 years ago when she saw what was happening during the war in eastern Croatia. "I was just a housewife, but I had to do something," she says. What she did was organise 40-ft trucks loaded with food and send them on a regular basis to Fr Svetozar in Bosnia-Herzegovina jordan 11 bred for distribution. "We never lost one tin of beans off those trucks," she says proudly - and over the years, 400 truckloads were delivered.
"I once had a call from Irish Customs to say they had 60 tonnes of rice confiscated at the dock. Did I want it? I said yes, but they said I had to clear it all straight away. We organised five trucks but had no way of loading them, so I rang the army and they sent us soldiers who had them loaded in an hour."
The truck deliveries have stopped now in favour of financial aid going directly to where it's needed and food bought locally. "It was costing ?3,000 per truck for insurance and that just became too expensive," says Kay. "Now I transfer the money to Split and food is bought and distributed to central Bosnia, eastern Croatia, Sarajevo - wherever isabel marant sale it's needed. People are queueing up at those kitchens waiting for food. Right now, people are hungry."
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