INSP Advent Calendar: day three

Count down to Christmas with #INSPadvent! Each day in the run up to Christmas, we’ll have a message from a different street paper vendor.

Donate to back INSP’s work supporting street papers and their vendors here.

Ilija Ondrik Photo by: Sanja Polovina

Ilija Ondrik, 17, Belgrade, Serbia

Currently I’m living with my brother in a rented apartment. Before that, I lived at countryside with my stepmom. Selling Liceulice enables me to pay the rent and to pay bills. I have been selling the paper for two weeks.

For three years I was very sick, and I spent those years in hospital. But I love music and singing and one day I would like to become famous singer.

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

The best Christmas present was the one my sister gave to me. It was an iPhone 6. This was the best present because I wanted an iPhone 6 for a long time.

How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?

I would like to spend Christmas this year at home with my family.

If you did not sell a street paper, how do you think you might be spending Christmas this year?

I would probably spend Christmas the way I am planning. But now, when I’m selling street papers I can buy gifts for my family and that really makes a difference to me.

Do you have a special Christmas message for your customers?

I wish all the best to my customers for the Christmas holidays. And also I want to let them know that buying street paper Liceulice is the best present for holidays.

What is a traditional Christmas greeting in your area?

One person, instead of the usual greeting, says to another person: ‘Christ is born’ and other person responds with: ‘Indeed he is born.’