Olesia has a big passion for cooking as well. After escaping a war-torn country and finding refuge in Montenegro in 2015, she sought ways for making a living while managing to stay at home and look after her daughter and a baby boy. Since she was frequently baking cookies and preparing meals for her family and neighbors, Olesia decided to start a small bakery business.
A no-compromise approach regarding the quality of her ingredients reflects her personal life philosophy as well as care for her customers’ health and wellbeing. Other than showing resilience of spirit when faced with life challenges, Olesia puts a lot of effort into creating opportunities for herself and dreams of expanding her business one day.
Olesia, like many other vulnerable people around the globe, was impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit refugees particularly hard, leaving many vulnerable and reliant on donor support to maintain their livelihoods. UNHCR, with the financial support of the European Union, has provided COVID-related food and hygiene assistance, as well as a 2-month rental subsidy to refugees and asylum seekers in Montenegro, under a regional project funded through the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace. Olesia was among those who received the assistance, which has been crucial for alleviating the adverse effects of COVID-19 and in enabling refugees to be productive members of the community.
By Ana Puljiz
Photos: © UNHCR