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How children see the floods

How children see the floods: Experiences of the 'mother heroine', stand-up about politicians' statements, increase in potable water prices...

Ljubana is an eleven-year-old girl and her house in the village Pisari near Šamac was flooded during the floods that occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina in May this year. They managed to save most of the items, they even saved domestic animals, and her mother managed to bring her and two of her brothers to their grandmother's place in the nearby village that had not been flooded.

Some of the neighbors also listened to her advice and managed to save household items and animals. Ljubana says that all of that is the merit of her mother Soka who decided to listen to the advice of the owner of a local gravel pit who, having seen the news about other regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had already been flooded, predicted that Šamac and the neighboring area would be hit by the highest water wave in the last 150 years.

Due to all this, Ljubana decided that her one-minute movie as part of the workshop on one-minute movies entitled 'OneMinutesJunior', which is implemented by the Foundation for Creative Development from Sarajevo with the support of UNICEF for the purpose of providing support to flood-affected areas in Modriča, should be focused on the endeavor of her mother and should be called 'Mother Heroine'.

''We listened to this man's advice and brought out everything on time. We put the animals on grain silos, the household items on the first floor, some toys of my younger brother remained and were destroyed, but he is about to start school, so he is no longer playing anyway'', Ljubana tells us. Her brother Slaviša, who is a year older, also participates with her in the workshop.

''It was terrible and dad could not find high boots. When he managed to get them, he went to the village and helped others'', remembers Slaviša.

Ljubana says that when she first heard about the workshop, she had no wish to attend it:
''I thought that we would again go to school in the middle of school holidays, but when I saw what it was about and how interesting it was to make movies, I was sorry that the workshop would end''.
Jovana from the village Crkvina near Šamac was upset because of the increase in prices at stores after the water receded, so that they had to pay the double, sometimes even the triple price for water, bread and other basic foodstuff at a time when assistance was most needed.

Her movie is entitled ''One Man's Loss is Another Man's Gain'' and she will show how water prices changed over night and increased simultaneously with the increase in the water level. In addition to this movie, Jovana also participates in the movie of her school friend Nevena from the village Zasavice. During the flood, they had not been able to meet, since their villages were literally cut off from the rest of the world and one from the other. Nevena therefore decided to make a movie about it.
''We socialized and went to school together, but when the flood occurred, we were unable to visit each other, and we were very worried also due to the fact that we were not even able to talk over the phone. My movie shows that'', says Nevena.

Jovana says that her village was a true island in the midst of the floods.
''The water has not reached my house, but it was all around it and we were unable to leave it. We stayed at the house for around five days, because our parents were afraid that the water might rise fast'', says Jovana.
Ana Marija is from the same region. She found refuge at her cousins' place in Modriča during the floods. Her movie is about the experience of seeing everything under water, and when they came back to the house, which had been without electricity supply for a few days, she was afraid that everything might go up in flames because of the candle they had to use. Barbara from the Dobor district in Modriča, which had been flooded, also participates in the workshop. The water fully flooded her house.

''We managed to save ourselves on time, I was in the town Babešnica until the water receded. Almost everything has been destroyed'', says Barbara.

Valerija, Teodora and Hazim from Modriča are somewhat older than other workshop participants, but the two girls will start the first grade and Hazim the second grade of secondary school this summer. They are here because they like movies and acting, and they usually spend their free time at the premises of the Association 'Future', where they volunteer at the day center.
Hazim will make a movie about the solidarity during the floods, how they helped each other irrespective of their names, Teodora will show her opinion about media coverage during the floods, which created additional panic, and Valerija finished her movie in which she used stand-up comedy to show and caricature the statements made by politicians during the floods.

She says that her house has not been flooded this year, but it had been flooded 2010, when the river had also overflown its banks.
''People, do not worry at all, party members have been evacuated and they are all safe... At this moment, we cannot make any promises, we can only promise that the water will recede...'', says Valerija in her movie.
She says that she watches news shows in order to keep herself informed and that it was not difficult to caricature politicians.


''When I grow up, I want to engage in politics and help, in order improve the situation for everyone'', says Valerija self-confidently.

Movie scenes are shot by the children at the premises of the Association, some of them are shot outside, and in some they use the premises of the 'Child-Friendly Space' on the first floor. It is one of the 21 'Child-Friendly Spaces' that had been opened jointly by UNICEF, Save the Children and World Vision over the past period for children affected by the floods in Šamac, Modriča, Maglaj, and Doboj.

Children from Modriča and surrounding neighborhoods and several villages near Šamac will make 10 short movies in five days in order to present in one minute their opinion about the natural disaster that occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina in May and that affected most of them also personally due to the fact that their houses, schools and playgrounds were flooded. The children come up with topics, make the movies and act.
While we talk and follow the children during the movie shooting, Alen, Velibor and Berina from the Foundation for Creative Development are bringing the workshop to an end, and the arrival of Ljubana's and Slaviša's mother Soka tells us that it is time to leave. 'Mother heroine' from the beginning of the story offered to drive also other children from the villages around Šamac to the workshop in her car.

''That is the least that I could have done for my children after the floods. They went to an excursion, now to this workshop, and my youngest son is also going to one of the workshops. It is important to keep the children away from all of it, in order for them to forget the floods and everything that happened'', says Soka while the children get in the car and go home full of new experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

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