We did it, we raised $10,000!

Holiday Gala to benefit children in the Western Balkans

December 15 2019, 5:30pm
Ufficio Restaurant
1214 Dundas St W, Toronto

Enjoy a four course dinner served by Celebrity Chef Ivana Raca from former Yugoslavia.

Silent auction including an autographed tennis racket by Ana Ivanovic and a private dinner for 8 in your home with Chef Ivana Raca.

Includes three complimentary cocktails.

The war in her native former Yugoslavia started when Ivana was seven years old and she, her mother and two older sisters soon fled Bosnia for Serbia where they stayed with her father’s family. “For a month, we couldn’t really get ahold of my dad. We weren’t sure he was going to get out. It was hard for my mom. We all thought we were on vacation and we’d be back in a few weeks. We didn’t think war was going to break out or last. It went on and on. It was really bad. I definitely didn’t have that regular upbringing most people do.”

Ivana was fortunate enough to start a new life in Canada and have the opportunity to give back to those struggling back home.

All proceeds will go to two families affected by the war, through 28. Jun, an international humanitarian organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). Founded in 2012, to date the Not-For-Profit has delivered 200 tons of humanitarian, medical and disaster relief aid worth $7 million to the Western Balkans.

One of the families to whom we will be donating:

Dijana’s Story:
As a child Dijana was exposed to the poison of depleted uranium, forced to flee her home in Kosovo and lost her right eye to cancer. Her and her family then endured the humiliation of having their house raided and all of their possessions seized by the courts, because her father could not pay back the loans he used to cover her treatment. The Gajic family are refugees from Pristina, and their heartbreaking story is perhaps the most immoral and heartless we have come across in nearly eight years of humanitarian work.

The second youngest child, Dijana, had the misfortune of being a baby during the NATO bombing, exposing her to high levels of depleted uranium, a known carcinogen. Her earliest memory is being thrown to the ground by the detonation of a NATO bomb. When she turned two, a tumor was discovered behind her right eye and the family’s nightmare began. An endless amount of hospital stays, surgeries and therapy over the years failed to save her right eye but did manage to contain the cancer from spreading and save her left eye which is 70% functional.

Required changes to her prosthetic eye brought more costs and put the family at the brink of financial ruin. But the ultimate dehumanization came when a court order was issued in Serbia to confiscate every single belonging of value which the family owned. Cold-blooded bailiffs came to their home and took everything in front of the frightened children.

With your help, we plan to cover the costs for Dijana’s operation on her left eye and replace every item the courts stole from this poor family.