"Return to schools and kindergartens will help children overcome trauma"

We talked to principle of Bubamara kindergarten in Glina, Andreja Kuzmić

Marina Knežević Barišić
Ravnateljica Dječjeg vrtića Bubamara
13 January 2021

150 girls and boys are being cared for at Bubamara kindergarten in Glina. The kindergarten building is new and luckily did not suffer any damage in the earthquake. During the strongest earthquake that struck central Croatia around noon on December 29th, children in kindergarten were in their pajamas, ready for an afternoon break, principle Andreja Kuzmić tells us.

"We took children outside to the yard, according to our evacuation protocol. They were in their pajamas, we got them blankets to keep them warm. The teachers were there, and the maids helped, everyone was in charge of several children", continues Andreja.

The kindergarten has been closed since, but the plan is to open the doors again soon.

"I think it is important for children to start kindergarten again. At home, they are surrounded by stress, difficult stories of earthquakes. Playing is important for them and will help them recover after everything they have experienced – losing their homes, fear, and some have unfortunately lost their family members. For now, we expect about 40 children to return to the kindergarten. We usually take care of 150 of them, but many are displaced throughout Croatia because they have lost their homes. It is important that we provide employees, children and parents with psychosocial support in these difficult moments", believes Andreja.

Glina is a large area, there are many dislocated municipalities and places where children have no one to play with what makes the kindergarten even more important. Glina is usually a quiet town, pleasant to live in, describes the principle of Bubamara kindergarten. There is a primary school, a kindergarten, library, health center, a lot of sports clubs, and is close to Sisak and Zagreb.

Vrtić Bubamara
Vrtić Bubamara

Bubamara kindergarten employs 27 people, and five employees lost their homes. They will, Andreja tells us, be eased from work until they find their way around, and all employees will need a psychological help.

People from all over this area are under constant stress and fear over a possible new tremor, she tells us, and that is why it is important to provide psychosocial and any other support to families, children and those working with children so that together they could rebuild their communities.

Bubamara kindergarten is included in UNICEF's "Schools for Africa" programme, which includes children and teachers. As part of the programme, children learn about children's rights and help their Madagascar peers to realize their right to education.

"See this picture related to the Africa School program? That's where I was sitting when it started shaking and it fell from above. The first thing I did was skip over it as I went out and then saw that child's smile and that gave me hope" Andreja shared with us.


After devastating earthquakes in Sisak-Moslavina county, our fellow citizens’ lives are in ruins. Donate and help children and families in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and other areas most affected by the earthquakes!

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