December 28, 2019

In the Netherlands, Car Dealer Donates Van to Assist Migrants in Bosnia

Huis Ter Heide, Trans-European Division, and Adventist Review

Dutch Toyota dealer Louwman Roosendaal recently donated a Toyota HiAce van for use in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to transport clothing for charity. The van that ADRA BiH had been using was broken beyond repair, and the organization needed a van to support migrants facing winter conditions in less-than-adequate camps.

ADRA BiH had no funding to replace the van for this essential service. In cooperation with ADRA Netherlands, Louwman Roosendaal decided to sponsor the used Toyota HiAce van. The van will be used for the “Textile Bread” project, which collects used clothes and repurposes them for socially disadvantaged people, for sale in charity shops to provide further services, or, if the clothes are too worn, to turn them into industrial cloths which again generate funds for ADRA projects.

Branch manager Richard Zwagers stated, “When the foundation ADRA Netherlands approached us with the request to help, we were struck by the story and passion with which these people are committed to helping fellow human beings. The passion for moving people is in Louwman’s DNA, and that’s why we decided to sponsor a used Toyota HiAce van.”

Christa Breure is part of the ADRA Netherlands team. She said, “We wished to find a new van for our sister foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and could not have dreamed that this would work out like this. This Toyota HiAce is exactly what we need, a reliable and super-practical van, which is perfectly equipped for the purpose.”

Breure received the van on behalf of ADRA and said she would drive it to the Balkans together with her husband, Pieter, before handing it over to local ADRA director Božidar Mihajlović.

Support to Migrants in Desperate Conditions

ADRA is highly respected in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the organization’s impartial service during the Balkans crisis of the 1990s, including the siege of Sarajevo. Today, together with the Red Cross, ADRA is one of the few charities providing support for the forgotten refugees stuck in the country in winter conditions. A series of BBC reports has recently highlighted their plight.

ADRA is active at Ušivak camp near Sarajevo, where it is providing support to single men, families, and children. The camp was established in 2018 in an old military base. Before the setting up of the camp, migrants were camping in disused warehouses and other empty buildings or sleeping rough on the streets in winter. While conditions at the camp are less than perfect, ADRA is committed to helping as best it can, leaders said.

That help is also being extended to the local community with a primary school next to the camp. Many migrant children and area residents are attending. Much of the community consists of those with low income, and the school is in poor condition. During the lead-up to the Christmas holiday, volunteers will distribute ADRA Christmas packages to provide the children some joy. This is part of “Djeca pomažu djeci” (“Children Helping Children”), a partnership with ADRA Germany.
ADRA BiH is achieving miracles with limited funding and resources. In the midst of an almost forgotten migrant situation, the organization is providing as much support as possible. Leaders expressed appreciation for the support of partners like ADRA Netherlands and others in the ADRA network, along with committed church members.

“While we remember the Christ child, who was Himself a refugee facing difficult and inhumane conditions, ADRA BiH is grateful to support those who face a similar crisis today,” leaders said.
The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.