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To live in a home worthy of human beings

Jasmin Osmanović, father of three from the village Dolovi in Zavidovići, has new apartment. His family is one amongst 140 other Roma families across Bosnia and Herzegovina that the European Union helped build new homes for.

This is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my whole life. I have been living in a shack surrounded by rats and cockroaches, fearing every day for my children’s health. I am old and sick, but I would like to see my children living in a home worthy of human beings”, Jasmin says.

While he spoke, other people that have new homes thanks to EU help nodded their heads, confirming a moving story of a man who cannot believe he will soon move into his own apartment. He never possessed anything new, and never even dared to dream about his own apartment.

This is just one of numerous moving life stories witnessed by Marta Garcia Fidalgo, Roma Advisor at the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

On 1 February she attended handover ceremony for 12 Roma families in Zavidovići, in the presence of representatives of implementing partners and local authorities.

I am happy to be here today with you in Zavidovići and see that EU financial assistance has real impact on the ground and is able to make a difference in the life of Roma families,” said Garcia Fidalgo.

She also visited several Roma families in Kakanj and Zenica, who also received apartments under the Project “Roma Action II”.

The project that provides housing for a total of 140 Roma families is being implemented in nine municipalities in BiH. The European Union financed it with EUR 2.5 million and local authorities contributed.

Within the first and second phase of the Roma Action Project, the European Union provided in total EUR 5 million to improve the living conditions and the socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable Roma families.

During the second phase of the project housing units have been built for Roma families in nine target municipalities/cities in BiH: Tuzla, Gračanica, Banovići, Kakanj, Zavidovići, Zenica, Bijeljina, Modriča and Brčko District of BiH.