In a village 4.5 km far from Zenica is home of Mehmed’s family. Two generations live in a two story house, 7mx6m, built 30 years ago. Upstairs lives Mehmed (56), his wife (56) and son (29). On the lower floor lives Mehmed’s older son (30) and his wife (29) and their two children. Mehmed’s grandson is 9 years old and goes to elementary school one kilometer away from his home. Mehmed’s granddaughter is 10 months old and is the youngest member of the family. In two years, grandson will have to continue his education at school 4.5 kilometers away from their home. It’s a long way to go to school on foot.
In 2003 Mehmed’s family moved from remote village to the area near to Zenica. They managed to buy a house, so they are closer to the city because of the children. Mehmed had once worked as a miner, and his wife is a housewife. In 2010, Mehmed was sent into retirement after 10 years of being unemployed. The family had a tough life and suffered a lot during that period.
Mehmed is the only member of the family who has a regular income. Since he retired, he receives 300.00 KM per month. That’s not enough money to provide a decent life for his family, so he accepts all sorts of work he is offered. Mehmed and his older son work every morning at the market in Zenica. They have a small cart and they transport packages for the marketers or unload trucks for people who sell food at the market. For one package and or carrying goods they get 1 KM. After work at the market, Mehmed helps an old lady in their village in the field or around the house. This way, he can earn up to 10KM per job. They use 300 KM from Mehmed’s pension to pay bills for electricity and water and manage to get some food. Mehmed’s wife says that she can make 3-4 different dishes from 1 kg of meat and they manage to survive from month to month. Mehmed’s younger son cannot work at all so he stays at home, and Mehmed’s daughter-law is also unemployed.
Although their life is hard they are happy. They are glad to have a roof over their heads and are planning works on the house that they can afford, and thereby improve their living conditions. As the house was built 30 years ago and has no thermal insulation, Mehmed took a loan of 500 KM in LOK MCF and bought new PVC windows for thier home. Replaced windows are now the most important and most beautiful part of their home. “Now it’s warmer,” they say proudly. They also say that now they need less firewood, which makes them even happier. They save the money on heating and this makes their life easier.
Rest of the house requires additional interventions, but they cannot afford to do everything at once. Therefore, they plan slowly, with the support of LOK employees and free consultations with LOK MCF construction engineer, as a part of the improving living conditions project. They have already talked about the bathroom that is old and dilapidated and already have plans for bathroom adaptation. As soon as the current loan is paid out, they will take a new loan for improvement of housing conditions, and to further improve their living conditions.