I WISH ALL PEOPLE HELPED EACH OTHER MORE
Fundraising bazaar "Children on the move for children with cancer" held in the Temporary Reception Center Usivak.
Shamsa* is 13 years old girl. She had to leave Afghanistan less than three months ago, along with her parents, two brothers and a sister. On the way to Germany, which is their desired destination, Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of her new temporary homes, after Iran, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and Montenegro.
Travelling through seven countries in just three months is the dream of many who love to travel, but for Shamsa* and her family, this journey was overwhelmed with feelings of fear, uncertainty, discrimination, and recurrent danger.
That could be the reason Shamsa looks much more mature than a 13-year-old child, and her thoughts are mature as well.
We met her at the Fundraising bazaar "Children on the move for children with cancer", organized in the Temporary Reception Center Ušivak, with the Child Friendly Space team, whose work is supported by UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina in partnership with the NGO World Vision International. The Child Friendly Space currently enables around 180 refugee and migrant children to get opportunities for learning, socializing, sports activities, creative workshops, and psychosocial support workshops.
During the one of those workshops, beautiful bracelets, greeting cards, art pictures and jewelry boxes created were now offered at the bazaar at symbolic prices, although they have an inestimable value. There are two reasons for this; the first is that all collected funds will be donated to the Heart for Children Association, to assist children with cancer, and the second is that all those artefacts were created as an expression of feelings of desire, anxiety and, above all, hope, now translated into something tangible, coloured, and lovely.
Shamsa assists the younger children prepare for the bazaar, paints their faces, telling us that apart from the creative workshops, she also likes language learning and volleyball, which she also can exercise in the Center.
She also recently started attending a regular school. "The teachers are excellent. Thanks to them, I master the material quickly, and I can see how dedicated they are. I really like the school, and when I'm not in class, I spend a lot of time studying, especially languages, here in the corner."
Knowing foreign languages will come in handy, as her dream is to study medicine in Germany and become a pediatrician.
"I'm happy if what we did here, helps at least one child to recover faster. I wish if all people would help each other more, instead of doing harm." says Shamsa.
Ajla Fejzić, a psychologist at the Temporary Reception Center, who spends a lot of time with children and their parents in Child Friendly Space, confirms that children are aware of the adults doing harm to each other.
"Many of the children on the move have faced trauma during their journey. Older children are aware of that, they are transferring their parents' feelings, while the younger ones also feel the consequences, usually at an unconscious level. In example, we had a lot of children with bedwetting problems. In our psychosocial workshops, we help children verbalise or express their emotions in the way that suites them the most. We adapt to children. For some, an art workshop is suitable, and for others, we just go out and play ball together. We always try to involve the parents, when possible, as they can continue applying some techniques we teach them, to help their children overcome their traumas even after they leave the center."
Children feel especially good, knowing that they themselves help someone, and this role reversal also contributes to build their self-confidence and their mental well-being.
Although the atmosphere at the bazaar is in no way different from the atmosphere at any school or preschool bazaar in any city of the world, the story does not end here.
Children on the move often have their childhood, routine, and education processes interrupted, which leaves some wounds that are not always easy to heal. That is why it is extremely important to enable every child to enjoy every right, in every destination they reach, because one’s childhood is irreplaceable.
UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina with partners, and thanks to the support of global thematic funds and the emergency thematic funds, is making this possible.
#For every child #Childhood#Protection#Health#Education
* Names have been changed for the purpose of protecting the identity of the child