Her name is Marija, and she has been living in a small hut for the past 60 years. At 86 years of age, she doesn’t need much to survive. She relies on the kindness of extended family who bring her food, water, and wood to burn and keep warm, but she doesn’t plan on changing her lifestyle anytime soon.
In 1956, Marija left with her husband to make a better life in Australia. He worked as a carpenter and was making a rather comfortable life for the couple, but when Marija found out that her mother had grown ill, she returned to Serbia to care for her, leaving her husband behind. She never returned to Australia.
She kept in touch with her husband through letters for many years, and he sent her money to help her get by. Several years before his death, they lost touch and were not able to communicate as often, and once Marija heard rumors of his death, she tasked a neighbor to find out more.
When it was all finally sorted out, it came to light that her husband had bought property that hard turned a huge profit (nearly $5 million) and was all to be handed over to Marija.
But after living nearly her entire life in a small cabin in the woods on roughly $70 per month…
She decided, instead, to give the money to the people in her village who have helped her to survive over the years.
Where I am going soon I do not need money, so I gave it away. They need it more.”
The community is responsible for helping her to survive all of these years on her own. The community should benefit from all of their hard work.
While no one has the real story of why she left to live alone in Serbia long after her mother died, we do know that her husband was planning to return to Serbia to live with her once more after he retired.
Unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to fulfill that dream. What a generous woman – to give it all back to the village that helped her when she needed it the most!
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