Our little stars


Dz. J. is a young person who spent 20 years of his life, continously in social care institutions. When he was 12 years old, Dz. found out that he has two year younger sister with whom he had contact for the first time. Biological parents Dz. and his sister had never met. Dz. doesn't have any other informations about other close relatives.
After the successful ending of the secondary Technical school, Dz. enrolled the High Sports school of health in Belgrade and he is a graduate student at the same for two years. Studying passed without larger difficulties, but at the final year of his study Dz. neglected learning and devoted himself more to the sport. Dz. trains rugby and at the same time he is a coach, and he is very successful in this sport. Last year, Dz. left the Institution for Children and Youth without parental care, because he is no longer a regular student and therefore has no conditions for staying in social care institutions. Considering that Dz. didn't have place where to go after leaving the Institution, his case leader from the Center for Social Work refered him to join the Program House of opportunity and on that way, all together provide him the necessary support in preparation for independent living. Since Dz. joined our program, he devoted more to the preparation of the exams and started to pass exams, as well as to develop and learn new life skills which will be necessary for his independent life.
Dz. often says: I don't know where I would be and what would happen to me if I didn't join the Program. Thanks to the Center Star, I am not alone and on the street, I already have a place to live.


M.M lived in the family community until 2009 when it was interrupted. The mother left the family, went to live with her brother, not wanting to take care of M. and her three younger sisters. The father did not have the capacity to take care of them, and was also inclined to consume alcohol, and in 2009 M. and her sisters were placed in a foster family where she remained for the next two years. Due to the inability to adapt to the foster parents and the mutual lack of understanding, in 2011, at her own request, and with the approval of the Center for Social Work, M. is placed in another foster family. Separation from sisters, for her was very difficult but she remained in constant contact with them, and maintained a fair relationship with former foster parents. During her stay in foster care M. ended Commerce and catering school, then finished high school and enrolled in business specialist vocational studies. Minimum support was provided from the foster family, the relationships were mostly good, but without the necessary emotional support and family warmth. In 2017 there is a verbal conflict between M. and her foster parents, where the material moment prevails, and they kicked out M. out of the house. The conflict itself led to many unpleasant words that influenced M. with emotional consequences. Very quickly she came in the House of opportunity in Nis where it gradually recovers from stress and builds an adequate relationship with home parents and householders. She continued with intense contact with her sisters, taking care of them and their needs as much as possible. In the House of Opportunity, she found the peace she needed her and the sense of belonging. She found the job and remained in the HOP until May, when she successfully completed the program and went to work seasonally in another country.
How M. told us when she made the decision: I think that this is the right moment to start to live independently. The HOP helped me a lot when I didn’t know nor could I understand what happened with my life, I didn’t have anywere to go. I keep thinking what would happen if I didn’t have the opportunity to be here. But, I know this for sure: this decision I couldn’t made that things are different and that there were no HOP and all the people who helped me..


When you ask D. to describe himself in one word, he will tell you immediately that he is a great fighter. And when you listen his story, you will make sure of that. See that he has been through so much during his 22 years, and that his fight, unfortunately, started since he was born.
By the age of seven, he lived in a complete family with his mother, father and two younger brothers. The moments spent in their primary family were filled with fear, anxieties, and tears. The father was consuming alcohol, and then, when he was under the influence of it, he expressed aggression towards children, especially toward D. The mother was not helpful at those moments, and she left the family community several times. D. is left to himself since he was little. Besides that, he had to take care of his two younger brothers, which was too much for him in those years. At the age of seven, due to the circumstances, with his brothers, he was relocated from his family to a foster family. However, the four year period that followed him was hell. During his stay to a foster family, he was exposed to physical and psychological harassment. After four years, he was relocated from his family and was temporarily in another foster family, then, after a short time he was placed in a foster family near Zajecar. In that family, D found his peace and for the first time felt the real family atmosphere. However, with legal age, he had to leave his family. Initially, he deal with it, but in time there were many, both financial and other obstacles. Soon, D. found himself on the street where he spent two years. Although many people helped him, in the form of occasional shelter and food, however, this period was the heaviest and most fulfilling day, for everyday anxieties of survival. It happened that for several days there was nothing to eat, and he slept in places without heating and in inhuman conditions. In the period when we heard about D. through the media, he was in a very bad state. He lived in a cold room and felt that he would not be able to live longer in such a way. People from the House of Opportunity saw this as a personal appeal for help, they came into contact with D. and since February 2017, he is in the House of Possibilities in Niš.
The moment of moving in into our House, for D. is a special moment, which, in a way, represents his personal salvation. He faced daily obstacles in the face of the inability to master some of the skills of independent functioning, and the support and help of the team of the HOP and other young people were more than welcome. In House he learned to prepare food and to take care of himself in an adequate way. Every day at the House is a day when he learns something new. Though constantly with a smile on his face, D. is very emotional, and when he talks about his life and the moving in into the House of Possibilities, in his stories, tears are in his eyes. He says that he constantly feels that the House is actually his home, and that it is his family.


A.Dj. turned this month 23 years. He celebrated his birthday with the youth in the House of Opportunity in Niš, with his friends, family parents, cake ... But it was not always like that.
A. Đ comes from an incomplete family – from his parents he has a mother, then he has an aunt and grandmother from his mother. His father is unknown and his life before coming to the House of opportunity in Nis can be described as a constant struggle of a young person who wants out of life much, trying to achieve it, but can not succeed. His mother was a long time ago diagnosed mental disorder - schizophrenia and one of the most severe forms. Beside his grandmother, A. had a grandfather by his mother, however, when he was 12 years old, grandfather committed suicide. After this event, every day was a strong emotional struggle, since A. was very tied to his grandfather.
Grandmother has always been a great support to A. A. With his mother and his grandmother lived in mildly speaking extremely poor and bad housing conditions, without baths, but also without the necessary security that a home should provide. Beside very poor material support, given that they have been supporting from their mother's social assistance, need for emotional support was lacking. A. He started with the studies, but he needed support to continue them, since in the conditions in which he lived he could not. Than he heard about House of opportunity Nis. A. Was one of the first residents of HOP Nis. Upon arrival, he quickly adjusted to life in the House and gained many new skills, environmental as well as social and many others. He goes regularly home and keeps contact with his mother and grandmother, but the overall conditions are still inadequate for his return there. In the House, he says, I feel calm, I have support, which means me immensely.
Together with him we look forward to every exam that he pass, to each certificate he receive, and we are waiting for new ones, because success is permanent!

V.D. & V.D.

V.D. and V.D. are brother and sister who became part of the program House of opportunity at the end of 2016. Sister is older three years than the brother, and brother was a minor when entering the House of opportunity. They lived in a complete family, and their mother left them when they were 9 and 12 years old. They were left to live with their father and grandfather. However, the grandfather soon died, and the father formed a new common law mariage and began to consume alcohol, and then for the two of them started trouble. The father spent money on alcohol, so he started selling out things and tools from home. Unwillingly they remember the moments when a father drank and when all the money they have spend on the supply of alcohol, but also moments when there are no money, so their father was furious and he raged against them. The father soon went to serve a prison sentence. They were temporarily placed at the cousins. After a year, the father leaves the prison and V. and V. are coming back to life with a father which was getting worse.
Due to the escalation of violence, brother goes to the Center for social work and reports violence. After that, the father throws them out from the house, in winter, and the Center places them in urgent procedure in the House of opportunity.
They were in the House of opportunity for over a year and it was a big change for them. Sister was easier to adapt to life in the House and other households, while her brother took longer. They don’t like much to talk about the future, but when they talk about it, at the same time they are afraid that their future will look like their past. The sister's goal is to have a job in her profession, to be a hairdresser, and to raise a family on the next day, but the most important, that the brother is fine and to be able to live independently together after leaving the House of opportunity. Brother’s goal is sister’s happiness and his future is directed at it. V. and V. often says that the House of opportunity gave them support at the worst moment of their lives. Sister says I didn’t know what will be, and I was afraid that maybe I couldn’t be with my brother, but when they told me that I would be with my brother in House of opportunity, a was the happiest person on the world. V. knows to say I sometimes have 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. Brother left the HOP at the end of May, successfully ending the program and went abroad to work. Sister is still at the HOP Nis.


Divna is a young woman who was in the social care system during her high school years. She lived in a foster home, since her single mother did not have financial means of supporting her through her education. After finishing high school, she tried to enroll at the Biological faculty in Kragujevac, but she missed by only one point a place  on the list of students who could have their studies  paid for  by the Government. The Center for social care could not help her, so she ended up with no education and no possibility of finding a good job. She tried unsuccessfully to do various jobs, but she never stopped hoping that one day she would successfully enter the faculty. After we contacted her and talked to her, she expressed the desire to try once more to enroll at her chosen faculty with the help we provided.  

While visiting her mother in the village she lives in, we realized that this family had very poor living conditions as well. They did not have any permanent source of drinking water, but had to ask the neighbors for water. We started fundraising activities for digging a well. After three months, we raised half of the amount; the other half was donated by the local municipality. We engaged builders and the well was built in a week. Now, Divna’s education is next on the list. 


Alexander is a young man who spent most of his life in the orphanage in Belgrade. Sadly, his parents died when he was only 9 years old. As his older sister and brother were already old enough to be on their own, he was left to stay in the orphanage alone. He has been residing there even until the present day. And certainly it has not been easy. Very little was left when he lost his parents, siblings, his whole family, his home. He grew up completely alone and tried to deal with all the problems that every child encounters, all alone. Teachers and social workers just did their job and went home to their familes. Alexander had nowhere to go. He completed his primary and secondary mechanical engineering school, and began higher education when we met. Motivation is always missing when you do not have family support. He began his studies at the High School of Sports and Health, and then stopped. The exams were not easy, and he had to give up. We gave him support, to show him that we care about him and want to help him. He continued his studies and is now at the end of his studies. He has part-time work as a rugby coach, and is trying to find some steady work in order to begin an independent life. Since at the end of this year, he will be completely out of the social welfare system, our support and help will be very necessary.


Goran is a young man lacking proper parental care. We have known him ever since he was a boy. He was raised by his grandmother. After her death, Goran ended up in a foster home. He lived in several foster homes. We would pay him a visit from time to time. After he came of age, he left the foster home at his own request and started living independently in the house inherited from his grandmother. However, on leaving the social care system, he was left without any material or other support regarding his further education. After finishing high school, he expressed desire to enroll at the Theological faculty in Belgrade. Goran enrolled with our full support, and moved into the student dorm. Now his future and his  education are in his own hands and depend on his own efforts.  


We met Igor when he was a little boy, in the first grade of elementary school, where he showed above average intelligence. On further investigation, we realized he had had a difficult life. His mother had abandoned him, taking his younger brother with her, so he lived with his father and grandfather. His father dealt with his own sadness, anger and dissatisfaction in life with alcohol. Even though intelligent himself, he did not manage to tackle the everyday problems of poverty & loneliness so he spent evenings in pubs, often taking little Igor with him. Sometimes he took all his anger out on the innocent child. Therefore,  growing up was difficult for Igor, in very modest conditions, without regular income or a woman’s touch at home, with a lot of questions and few answers he was in constant fear of his father’s mood. We would pay a visit from time to time, take presents, and we gave him his first ever birthday cake with candles, which he says, he will never forgot. When he was older, he searched for his mother and father via a TV show. However, he did not find the love and attention he lacked so much. His mother did not want to have any contact with him, since he resembled his father too much, and the two brothers had grown up apart from each other, which made a  close relationship impossible. He returned to his everyday life again, with not much hope or faith for a brighter future.  Fifteen years later, last summer, he found us and we reestablished contact. Now, all our efforts are directed towards providing conditions for him to finish his education and use his God-given intelligence and capabilities to ensure a brighter future for himself. It will not be easy, but together we believe it is possible,  and this is our clear goal.  


Stefan’s life story is dramatic, much like most of the young people with whom we come into contact. Stefan was born an illegitimate child. After his mother\'s death, a cousin in Bosnia accepted him and nurtured him there. After completing elementary school, he enrolled in high school there, but did not finish. He moved into an orphanage in Zvečanska, but the change of environment and the transition to the house was very stressful for him and he didn’t adapt well. Since he was born out of wedlock, his relatives have never accepted him because he represents an "embarrassment" for the family. Today Stefan is completely alone in Belgrade and without any support. As a surviving relative, he has the right to his mother’s pension, however he hasn’t been allowed to collect it, because he is not in the mainstream education system. His education is not finished and he lives on the outskirts of the city, just trying to somehow become independent. I believe that not only our financial support to pay for schooling, the remaining exams, as well as the necessary books, but also our support in terms of acceptance and care, and will give Stefan the feeling that he is not completely alone in the world, and there are those who care about him. Stefan is a smart guy, and with good organization and adequate support, we believe he will soon graduate from high school and then go on to college. By gaining an education that will enable them to find employment, he will gain self-confidence and a feeling that he is valuable and accepted. Thereby he could continue to collect and use the survivor\'s pension until the end of his studies at the university. It remains to us to help him and believe that his life can become much better and a more certain future than it now looks.
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Divna is a young woman who was in the social care system during her high school years.


Alexander is a young man who spent most of his life in the orphanage in Belgrade.


Goran is a young man lacking proper parental care. We have known him ever since he was a boy.


We met Igor when he was a little boy, in the first grade of elementary school.


Stefan’s life story is dramatic, much like most of the young people with whom we come into contact.


7th birthday of Centar Zvezda

31. March 2020.

Just before this, for all of us new, situation with virus and isolation, Centar Zvezda celebrated its 7th birthday.

New residents of House of Opportunity in Nis and Belgrade

1. March 2020.

Our HOP family is richer for two more members. Stefan joined in HOP Belgrade at the first day of March and one Stefan joined in February in HOP Nis. Welcome dear residents!

Visit to Belgrade Theater

22. February 2020.

In addition to daily duties, exams, jobs of our resident, preparations for the sales exhibition, we regularly go to the cinema and theater, thanks to the good people who donate our tickets.