For Goran and Valerija, the future is full of hope and possibility. It wasn’t always so.
If Valerija’s life resembled any fairy tale at all, it was the first part of Cinderella. Locked up by her mother, abused by her siblings, it was a life lived in tears. Things were not great for Goran either, as he moved between foster families throughout his troubled childhood.
Goran and Valerija met after finding their separate ways to the House of Opportunity in Varaždin. At the time of their meeting, Goran was volunteering at the House after graduating from the programme in 2019. Valerija had made the break from her mother at the age of 17 and was discovering that family really could mean what she wished it did as she made friends with the other residents at the House. At first she was focussed on doing her best with her studies. A focus she maintained even as her relationship with Goran grew into something serious. Valerija now has a bachelor’s degree in Croatian Language and Literature and Education. And a fiancé.
Goran has a job of his own but is devoted to helping young people at the House of Opportunity. He’s been through what they have been through, he knows the pain of being separated from a sibling, and the joy of discovering that life can be worth living. So he’s in a good place to help mentor those who just starting to leave their old lives behind. He could have only dreamed that one of the new friends he made would go on to be his wife.
This fantastic young couple are getting married in July. Congratulations, Goran and Valerija! No, it’s not a fairy-tale ending. This is just the start.
You can donate to support the House of Opportunity Programme here.