Stories of Change
Top: Mira and her family Bottom: the family's yard, with their new sheep
A new business, a chance for financial stability
The Bajic family has been struggling. Mira, 36, focuses on raising her 9-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son in their rural community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her in-laws also live with her family. But finances have been tight for a long time.
Up until recently, none of the family members were permanently employed. Thankfully, Mira’s husband recently found a job. But his salary is only $250 per month. It’s better than nothing, of course, but it’s not even enough to meet all of their basic needs. Mira’s in-laws are still working through the complicated bureaucratic process of getting their pensions; while that income will help, it’s not something the family can count on yet.
In the mountainous countryside where the family lives, Mira had a vision of success for her family. She had a hunch that starting a livestock business such as raising sheep would help them pay their bills and even prosper. But without the means to get started, it wasn’t much more than a dream.
Then the chance to turn a vision into reality happened.
In 2020, CWS welcomed families like the Bajics into a program that helped families start livestock businesses. It was funded by Latter-day Saint Charities and implemented through our trusted local partner. Mira signed up, and her family received 10 sheep. The program team also helped repair and rebuild the family’s barns. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and bans on group gatherings, the Bajics’ training happened in their own yard. That actually ended up being a good thing, since they could receive expert advice that was tailored to their own needs and property.
Mira believes that having the sheep will provide some stability in her family’s income. Her family’s plan is to start small and expand their flock and business gradually over the next few years. “We are still young, and we want to start this business to help ourselves and our children,” she says. “In this business, we see an opportunity to provide a secure income for our family, in addition to the work that my husband does.”