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In the critical moment, lives can change completely

By March 29, 2018April 12th, 2021House of Opportunity, Stories

Two abused teenagers are starting a new life at a House of Opportunity in Serbia.

Petra’s* (19) and Miroslav’s* (17) mother left them when they were young and they grew up with an alcoholic father who at times took his anger out on them. When the father was sent to prison, the siblings were placed with relatives. After a failed attempt to reunite the family when the father was released from prison, Social Services made a call to the House of Opportunity, where places were found for both of them. This was crucial to their wellbeing – in cases like these siblings are often split up, especially when only one is over the age of 18.

For Petra & Miroslav joining the House of Opportunity was a big change. Petra has adapted well to life in the House and to the other residents, while her brother needed more time. Petra is a very cheerful and extremely empathetic person whereas Miroslav is very reserved. However, they support each other, and their relationship is a great example for the other young people in the House.

Petra is aware that the House of Opportunity team stepped in at a crucial moment in their lives. “I didn’t know what would happen, and I was afraid that maybe I wouldn’t be able to be with my brother. But when they told me that I would be with him in the House of Opportunity, I was the happiest person in the world”. Miroslav says, “I sometimes have the feeling that this House is like my home because I’m with my sister and everything is good, without bad situations, and I see that my sister is happy.

Petra works in a hair salon and Miroslav is an assistant cook in a restaurant. And whilst Petra has life-goals in mind Miroslav just wants his sister to be happy. When the critical moment came for Petra & Miroslav the House of Opportunity was able to keep them together and offer them a chance to change their lives for the better. With the love and support of the House of Opportunity team, and their housemates, both can now look forward to a future filled with possibilities.

The Houses of Opportunity in Serbia are run by our partner organisation, Center Star. If you would like to support the work of FSCI and its partners, click here.

*Names changed.