"This is the first home that we have as a family”
Croatia celebrates the successful completion of the first Regional Housing Programme (RHP) project.
Velimir and Daniela Andzic are among the 29 families who received keys to their new apartments in Korenica, Croatia, as part of the first RHP project successfully completed in the country.
The Andzics are refugees from the bloody conflicts of the 1990s in former Yugoslavia. With their two daughters, Tea (6) and Hana (2) they have lived in a collective center in Golubic since 2010.
Collective centres were established during the war as temporary accommodation for refugees and internally displaced people. More than 20 years later there are still 607 persons in Croatia who live in five remaining centres.
"This is the first home that we have as a family,” Velimir Andzic said. He and his wife are looking forward to their children starting school and kindergarten in Korenica.
Promoting regional reconciliation
Among the 29 families to benefit from housing in Korenica most are returnees from Serbia. By enabling them to finally settle in Croatia under decent living conditions the project in Korenica promotes regional reconciliation, which is one of the cornerstones of the RHP.
Milan and Koviljka Petkovic are happy to be back in Croatia. After 30 years in Korenica they were forced to leave their home and flee to Serbia in 1995. "Life will be much easier now with this apartment. We are very happy. We don't have much furniture but we like the apartment so much that we can put a chair in the middle of the living room and just enjoy the view", Koviljka Petkovic said.
The Regional Housing Programme (RHP) aims at ending the protracted displacement of refugees and internally displaced persons in the Western Balkans, stemming from the conflicts in the region in the 1990s. It aims to provide sustainable housing solutions to close to 74 000 people, or 27 000 households, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.