They want to help the flood victims

Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina are flooded. Students and PhD’s want to raise awareness, money and goods to help.

It’s the worst flood in the last 120 years. ‘Friends told me it looks like after an atomic bomb, that’s how terrible it is’, says Faris Nizamic, a PhD student in Computer Sciences from Bosnia.

Maja Kutlaca, a Social Psychology PhD student from Serbia, explains how the water was up to five metres high in some parts of her home country. ‘They now count the dead cattle in tons because so many animals drowned.’ Together with Faris and several other PhD students, she organized the campaign Groningen for Balkans.

With this campaign, they hope to raise money and collect goods that people in the flooded countries need the most. Maja says, ‘It is important that people are aware of what happened and that they have different means to help.’ In Bosnia alone, about a million of people are directly affected by the floods.

Contribute to the cause

That is why the PhDs came up with three ways that people can contribute to their cause. First, they are collecting money for the Red Cross that goes to both Bosnia and Serbia. Dutch people trust this organisation and are familiar with it, Faris believes, so they may donate more easily.

The second option to donate money is via the Platform BiH. The third option to help is to donate goods. For one week, the PhDs will collect goods like baby food, batteries, cleaning supplies and rubber boots, among others.

Collection point

Although none of their own families are directly affected by the flooding, Faris and his friends want to make the extra effort to help their home countries. From Monday 26 May until Sunday 1 June, they will be at the collection point Damsterkade 6 in Groningen to receive, list, and pack the goods. ‘For one week, we will forget all sports and fun activity and go there after our work.’

Faris appeals once again to students and people in Groningen. ‘We are now living in the Netherlands and there is also a danger of flooding here. So, something like this could happen to everyone. Even just donating the money you spend on two beers or a coffee would already mean something to the people there.’

In Groningen, many other students from the Balkans also want to help. On 27 June, students from the Prins Claus Conservatorium will organise a charity concert to support their home countries.