Emma's funding for Bosnia SOS Children's Village
Organized by: Jamey Butcher
My dad and I are returning this summer to Bosnia to visit friends. I say “returning” even though Bosnia is a place I have never seen before but feel like I know. This is because before I was born my mom and dad lived and worked in Bosnia and many of our close family friends are Bosnian. In fact, my mom was pregnant with me while she worked there before returning to the US to have me.
When dad told me that I had this opportunity I knew it was a chance to give back to my second home. My dad and I worked with our friends in Sarajevo to identify a place that can truly benefit from any donations we can provide. This place is a school called SOS Children’s Village, which is located in the city of Maglaj which suffered from historic flooding last year. This flood was the worst in over 100 years and affected more than one million people in Bosnia. The floods impacted 60,000 children who were affected by floods and landslides. The situation is especially difficult for 16,000 children who are under the age of five, have disabilities, are from isolated communities, or are minorities, such as Roma, because many of these children do not have access to safe environments in order to play, learn, and grow.
One of our friends, Damir, works for SOS. He explained to me that SOS Children’s village has provided an emergency response to the floods and has established child friendly spaces to protect children in affected areas. These are places where children can participate in educational and entertainment activities, play, and receive support to recover from trauma. This also includes support to their parents. The program is described as, “an emergency response project intending to reduce the effect that disasters had on children and their families in flooded areas of Bosnia, and to move towards recovery and development as quickly as possible.” I was disappointed to hear about the flooding and its effect on children, but was excited that I had the chance contribute to the work that SOS Children’s Village is doing.
So today I’m asking you to think about how much we can give back if we just put our minds to it! My goal is to raise as much as possible in the next four weeks so that I can provide this money to the center when I visit in the first week of August. I have asked close family to start this effort and we have already received $2200 of my $10,000 goal.
I promise that if you provide money we will make sure it gets to the children who need it and that we will report back to you about this visit. Thank you so much for helping us give these children better lives!