Single father drives three children four hours to school: They live on Velebit with bears and wolves, and that is not the only problem (PHOTO)
- Even though we have no electricity, we have aggregates, and we drew water from cistern. We have all the technology in home as if we are in Zagreb, but we have something no one else has. Bears are coming to our yard, and the view goes up to Ancona - said Alen
Alen Baricevic (29), is a single father with three children, bitter to the extent that he didn't take his two school kids to school three days ago in St Juraj, and he wants to provoke social services, so he could present them with his problem, and not only to the newspapers.
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Alen is in specific situation. Born in Zagreb, moved to Opatia ten years ago, and he's been living on Velebit for the past five months, in the home of his ancestors. No one has been living on the house for 60 years, and for the past 10 decades, his family has been using it as a weekend home. He actually made a home for himself and his children he is taking care of since the divorce.
From hundred problems he is facing in his new life, one of the greater problems is transportation of children to St Juraj, where the school is located.
- The deal with the administrator and the County was that i should accept driving the children to school until the transportation is settled. A fee has been agreed on this of 3.200 Kuna per month. So far i got 2.000 Kuna even though i spend 500 euros for the fuel. But that is not the greatest problem, i am physically exhausted, and they are ignoring me - said Alen.
He has no more strength to fight the administration, so he decided on desperate move, thinking if he could tutor the children himself.
- The kids are doing well in school, i have support from parents and from teachers, but i have no more choices. We go in the morning, and the youngest Ema (5) has to come with us because there is no one to look after her, i take them, i get back, around 11 i have to go again to get them, when we come back we have no lunch, our fire is out - complains Alen, bitter on politicians for inviting young families to the village but not giving any support to them.
Alen is a interior designer, and he has been in hospitality business for his entire life, his family has a restaurant in Zagreb and he is renting apartments. Renting is biggest source of his income, everything else has changed, drastically.
- The kids are enjoying every minute, they are free spirited, we get to Zagreb, Rijeka, Opatia quickly, but there is no place like here. They are totally occupied by animals - said Alen who has calf and other domestic animals on his property.
Alen wishes to breed 200 heifers in Velepit pastures, to have his own cheese production, winery and ham, bungalows for the mountaineers, he already decorated eight rooms in his house, and he is making plans with four more.
- Even though we have no electricity, we have aggregates, and we drew water from cistern. We have all the technology in home as if we are in Zagreb, but we have something no one else has. Bears are coming to our yard, and the view goes up to Ancona - said Alen.
They are razing growing animals as pets, but he met some real challenges, where he had to kill a pig which was torn by lynx.
- Wolves killed two goats, but those are the things we are facing here. Its not easy, but we are not giving up. No one came to visit us and we are not complaining, we just want what is ours by law - said Alen.
- Father chose to drive his children, but things got complicated. It was not good for him that County pays up retroactively. He tried to come to someone in the County, but i think it wasn't done in writing - said the school principal Rosanda Bilovic.
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