Farial and Sadaish are doing great in school

Every morning, children are happy to see the school bus that is dedicated to taking them to acquire knowledge.

Radio Sarajevo for UNICEF
Djevojčica Farijal drugarima iz razreda na globusu pokazuje kuda je išao njen put: Afganistan, Iran, Turska, Srbija, Bosna.
UNICEF/Munib Čavkić
24 June 2019

A girl named Farial shows to her classmates the route of her journey: Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia.  Farial is one of hundreds of migrant and refugee children currently staying in the Una-Sana Canton who started elementary school in this semester.

“We learn about our environment, math, Bosnian, English... I like it here”, she says.

Her friend Sadaiš is proud to say: “During breaks, we go outside, we play, we go buy a snack. In classes we write. We work on subjects, predicates, pronouns, nouns, adding, numbers. I’ve got an A in My Environment”.

Every morning, children are happy to see the school bus that is dedicated to taking them to acquire knowledge.

Although they are still homeless and staying at collective accommodation of the reception centers, they see school as a symbol of normal life.

Four Bihać schools in total have opened their doors to migrant and refugee children to include them in regular classes.

Amra Ćehajić, Head of the Brekovica Elementary School points out:  “We at the Brekovica Elementary School, we are proud to say we were among the first schools to offer hospitality and welcome the children on the move into our premises, among our students, and our employees. It took only a couple of days to have them participate in regular classes. They instantly adapted. One of the basic conditions for children to join the regular classes with local children was knowledge of Bosnian.”

Farijal i Sadaiš sa razredom
UNICEF/Munib Čavkić
Farijal i Sadaiš sa učiteljicom
UNICEF/Munib Čavkić

During the last winter, a course in Bosnian was organized for the children at the center, and all of them have undergone a mandatory health exam.

Physician at the Bihać Medical Centre, Dr Merima Čolaković, described health of the children.

”Nose and throat swipes are as usual, blood screens are very good, urine tests are fine, and as far as lab results go, they are very good too. Parents of these children take great care of them and want to know about their children’s health”, Čolaković explained.

Inclusion of migrant and refugee children in the Una-Sana Canton in national education system is a part of the project titled “EU Support to Migration and Border Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina“ funded by the European Union with more than 7.2 million euros. The project is implemented by International Organization for Migration in partnership with UNHCR and UNICEF. UNICEF in partnership with Save the Children and Ministry of Una-Sana Canton supports inclusion of refugee/migrant children in school and extracurricular activities.

The Head of the School, Ms Ćehajić noted: “It was a new challenge, a new experience, not only for them, but for us as well, the teachers and our students, for these children come from different parts of the world, different cultures. I believe the pleasure is mutual - among our children, and among the children that joined our school.”

For children on the move, going back to school brings hope that their dreams of a better future are not forever lost.

Radio Sarajevo for UNICEF