"If there was not for this job, I would work as a construction worker for a daily wage, or as my father, at the green market"
“I came here to tell you my story, but please let’s do this quickly because I am taking a Serbian language test at 11 o’clock and I am having my graduation exam on Saturday. I study every day after work, I am well prepared.”
Saša graduated from Secondary School of Technology and Traffic, to become a traffic technician (a fourth-degree education), and is currently taking his exams to complete the course for driving instructor (a fifth-degree education). He lives with his parents, brother, sister, wife, and son Leonardo. His parents receive financial assistance from Social Welfare Center. Within the project “Employment Empowerment of Young Roma”, Saša recieved support to continue education and to be employed at a McDonald’s restaurant in Belgrade.
If there was not for this job, I would work as a construction worker for a daily wage, or as my father, at the green market
“I am not cold, my lips are blue because I have a heart disease. Even though the doctor told me not to expose myself to effort, I am happy that I have the opportunity to work at a famous restaurant. It is not that hard. I do often carry heavy food plates but everybody says that I am an excellent worker. Once I burned my fingers while frying potatoes. It is nothing terrible… This job, which was provided by REF, is great. .If there was not for this job, I would work as a construction worker for a daily wage, or as my father, at the green market”
A bit shy, yet smiling, Saša is happy to have the opportunity to help his family. Last year, he contributed to the construction of a bathroom in his family house. Although there is not enough space for him to study in the house, he has been getting straight As. He is thankful for the opportunity to continue with his education and get employed. He manages to combine work with studying, and to have enough time to play with his four-monthold son. He says he is aware of the results of his effort when he can buy his son a toy he did not have as a child.
“I believe I will be a good father. Now I know how it is supposed to be – Leonardo will not be taking end-of-year exams, he will be going to school regularly and fulfill all his obligations on time. I know I will be a good father.”