The Cair Red Cross visited Tanusevci
The air arrived together with the spring
The population of Tanusevci is poor and mainly grows potatoes and breed cows.
At 40 kilometres distance from Skopje, at the border with Kosovo and 1,600 metres above sea level is the village Tanusevci. Now it numbers thirty families. Fifteen haven’t returned to their fireplaces yet, since they moved to Kosovo after the happenings in the war conflict in 2001 in Macedonia. In the far 1984 for the first time electricity was brought to the village, and the road was made one year before that. But even now when there are big storms the village is without electricity.
Next to Tanusevci are the villages Brest and Malino. Albanian population lives in all three villages. You can get to Tanusevci through the municipality Cair, the suburb and village Radisani, the road goes through the village Pobozje, the weekend-suburb Brodec and the place Ramno. You travel two hours to get there and half of the road is asphalt, and half is soil, along which water from the melting of the snow is flowing. In some places because of the snowdrifts even in this time of the year, when the temperatures are considerably higher, the height of the snow reaches even above one metre. It just reminds us that the road was impassable this winter because of the snow, and the villagers cut out of the capital city and civilization in general. With coming of the spring, that is announced with some snowdrops and sweet violets sprouted on the sides of the cliffs by the road, the life of these people gets new sense. The journey to Tanusevci is through colorful nature, that cannot even be described with words, because it can be done more successfully with the painting brush of an artist. Or it’s better to see it in life, because only that way you can feel the freshness of the air and the completely different air pressure from the one in urban Skopje. Mainly wood areas spread on both sides of the road, on which the villagers say that even during the winter when there isn’t snow it isn’t pleasant to pass even with a car because citizens of these woods aren’t only the wolves and the wild boars, but also bears. On the place Ramno it is windy almost all the time, they say both in the summer and in the winter, but of course during the winter it’s stronger. Travelling to Tanusevci you can notice and conclude immediately that nature gave water as a gift to this part of Skopska Crna Gora. The traveler to Tanusevsci won’t be thirsty, and real refreshment are the cold springs at Brodec and before Ramno. Right after this place you can notice the first military guardhouse, from which the soldiers of ARM greet you. Then comes the one of Tanusevci. Traveling with a van of the Municipal organization of the Red Cross of Cair, in a mission of delivering humanitarian aid for the family of Dzemail Jakupi, teacher of history and geography in the Primary School “Miahil Gramen” in the village Tanusevci, our story starts. After the meeting with him in the village school, in which 74 children study from 1st to 8th grade, we direct towards his home. The village path leads to it, signed with wooden fence from the left and the right side, next to which are the houses of his cousins and villagers. The general impression is that the village and the house of Dzemail are on the highest spot, and around it the village ambience is ornamented with wonderful mountain areas. In the yard by the old house is the new one with two rooms. One room is for guests or as he says misafirs, and the other one is a kitchen. In the yard there’s a tap from the village water supply and right here is the washing machine. Near some of the high cliffs that nature created, his wife Dzefrija, under a cast-iron convex lid prepared the specialty for guests “flija” or the famous “put and bake”.
“On the other side of the school, where you can see the Macedonian flag, is the guardhouse Tanusevci. By the avenue of trees above my house is actually the Macedonian-Kosovo border. People from UNMIK know the villagers and let them pass from one side to the other. Here there’s also goods exchange, and most frequently girls from Kosovo come here to marry our boys. My wife is also from there. I have four children with her at the age of five to ten. Two girls and two boys. The fifth was born dead this winter. On 3rd February the wife had a difficult delivery, without doctor assistance. Two women who had experience with childbirth helped her, but it all ended ominously. After the delivery her health became worse, and because of the winter conditions a doctor couldn’t come”, Dzemail Jakupi started his story.
People from the municipal organization of the Red Cross in Cair were also informed about this difficult delivery. They tried to get in contact with ARM, from whom they asked for a helicopter to go to Tanusevci and the doctor team to save the nursing mother and the baby. But, because of the bad winter conditions and the strong wind, which brought snowdrifts, the experts evaluated that it was impossible to do it. They were said that the traveling there with a helicopter could be ominous for the whole crew. Just because of that, in the first moment when the weather conditions improved, the Red Cross visited this family. They gave help to the four children and the mother with tender health consisting of pampers-diapers, trousers, baby-packages, jackets, blankets, male suits, short boots, anoraks. They will divide them among themselves, and there will be some also for the younger children of their close relatives.
“This kind of help is necessary to almost everyone in Tanusevci”, says Musa Jakupi, Principal of the Central Primary School “Miahil Gramen”. “This is a poor village, everyone is unemployed, and some of the villagers receive social help. The most difficult period for us was in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Fifteen families are still resettled on Kosovo and are waiting for the conditions to improve and to get back to their native houses. Many people after the conflict remained naked, with burnt houses. Those who had one sack of flour divided it with the others in order to knead bread and to feed the children. The humanitarian organizations helped with different projects in order to return the life in Tanusevci”, adds Jakupi.
“People from the Red Cross couldn’t enter the village for a long time. There was really will and wish to help them. It was that way also this winter when we gave everything in our powers to do the impossible and to help the nursing mother. We would have got a helicopter and we would have come to Dzemail’s house, but the weather didn’t allow it and a tragedy happened. But, the Red Cross is present here very often, and there will be many other projects, on behalf of our very important jubilee, 60 years existence of the Macedonian Red Cross”, says Blagica Cenic, secretary of the Municipal organization in Cair.
And the population of Tanusevci really needs all kinds of help. From educational to material. Most of the newborn children haven’t been added in the register book of births and haven’t got birth certificates.
“Not only the newborns, but also the children who come to enroll at the school are accepted without a birth certificate, so there are problems after finishing the primary school, because without birth certificates we cannot give them certificates to enroll at the secondary schools. So, time passes until we get the data from their parents. Those who enroll at some secondary school in Skopje, manage to stay with some close relatives in Aracinovo. A great number of the adults don’t have IDs or still don’t have citizenship. Not having an ID is the reason for the impossibility to gain right for social help and right for health care, even though they fulfill the conditions for that. There’s one part of them that continues the education at some of the faculties, and that is usually pedagogy and economics”, says the Principal Jakupi.
The population of Tanusevci mostly deals with production of potatoes, and they say they cannot sell this vegetable crop at a good price at the market. The transport to the market is expensive, and the purchase price at the same place is only 6 denars for a kilogram. But no one purchases the cheap potatoes, and the biggest part of last year’s harvest will be thrown away. In Dzemail’s barn there are whole 5 tons. He says that apart from the 2 cows and the production of potatoes, which is mostly the main profession of all villagers, there’s nothing else to do. “The sheep were gone after the war conflict, and sheep breeding and cow breeding can be really developed”, he adds. According to him and the principal of the school, the Government in perspective should think about opening an agricultural collective in the village. They consider that they could breed sheep and cows, and the milk to be processed in dairy products in a section that will be opened in the village. “Only thus the employment of all unemployed villagers will be solved. Even the wool from the sheep is a raw material for opening some other section in which the textile industry will be developed. Only thus the villagers won’t wait to get something from the state. This area is good for production of cranberries, blackberries, cornelian cherries. There were even interested people from Sweden for realization of a project for production of strawberries under foil. They wanted to invest in seeds and greenhouse. It was only an idea that remained unfulfilled”, they comment.
After all the happenings that left consequences on the population of Tanusevci, there are still only tries to make life in this village normal. The villagers have both ideas and will to work, but they say that someone has to think about it well and help them.