FACILITATE ACCESS TO EDUCATION TO CHILDREN FROM RURAL AREAS OF SREBRENICA

——————————————————–“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think….”

———————————————————————————–Margaret Mead

MIRSADA’S STORY– RESIDENT AT THE EDUCATIONAL CENTRE FOR CHILDREN IN POTOČARI

Mirsada was born in June in 2002 in Tuzla. Her family lives in a place called Ursići, 42 km away from the city of Srebrenica. The family has 6 members, parents and their four children. Considering the age and hectic time we live in when all is focused on consumerism and careers, having four children is a blessing and a luxury. Unfortunately, both parents don’t have a steady job with insurance and possibility for retirement. The father has health problems. The only income this family has is from child benefits. In order to be able to provide food and basic supplies to its family, they involved themselves in breeding cattle and agriculture.  Mirsada has two sisters and one brother. She is the third child.

That is almost a story of each child of Srebrenica. After the genocide happened in 1995, Srebrenica is still recovering and unfortunately the consequences are felt mostly on children born after the war. What they lack is an opportunity to have a good education or at least access to education.

Due to huge distance between her home and the school, Mirsada is a residential member of the educational centre in Potočari run by IFS- EMMAUS. For sixth year in a row, Mirsada receives the benefits that this Centre offers to children from rural areas of Srebrenica who would like to continue their education and have talents and potential to succeed in life and be a positive change in the community. She along with her two sisters were among the first people to come to the Centre. At the very beginning, the team of good-hearted and professional people noticed that she was hard-working and she stood up from the crowd.

Mirsada participated in all workshops, did her homework and help other children who had difficulties to overcome it. The school had only words of praise for her. During her stay in educational centre she obtained access to the internet, possibilities to travel and to meet new interesting people. Due to her active work, the team spotted many talents: singing, writing song texts, acting and dancing. She likes arts.

From being a very shy and introvert person, Mirsada now is a self-confident, aware person, a true leader. This she accomplished by staying in the educational centre where her ambitious were positively oriented and where she was given the opportunity to develop them.

She finished primary school with excellent grades and praises from the school teachers and the Director. She is now frequenting Grammar School. She likes Maths and languages- two sworn enemies.

Her desire is to continue education and go to the Faculty but she is aware if the educational centre closes due to insufficient funds she will be forced to drop school.

Now, Mirsada in her free time helps other children to succeed like she did and to learn to take advantage of the possibilities they are given for free. Mirsada recognized the true value of education and the doors it opens.