Maja and Donya once again share the school bench

Maja and Donya have met each other during the “Summer School” which was organized for children from refugee, migrant and asylum seeking families by UNICEF and the European Union in association with Save the Children and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Una – Sana Canton Government. First time they met, these two little girls have realized that they have a lot in common and that they would become good friends. They both like socializing, dancing and math which is why they had no communication problems at all, even though they speak different languages.

Maja, a 10-year-old girl from Bihać, attends elementary school „Prekounje“, where earlier this year new students (refugee, migrant, and asylum seekers children) also joined the education process / clasess. On their journay to a better future in one of the EU countries, they were stranded in Bihać, Maja’s hometown. Maya was happy to meet new friends, but also to enrich her knowledge with the first hand information on the culture, traditions and lives of new students.

In search of a better life, Donya and her parents left their home country, Afganistan, few years ago. Along the way, they were stranded first in Bulgaria, then in Serbia and finally in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Maja and Donya started to hang out during the “Summer School”. Maja started attending the school because she wanted to help her new friends improve their bosnian language and to prepare for a new school year.

After a month and a half long summer break, Maja’s and Donya’s encounter was very emotional. They couldn’t hide their happiness and excitment because now that the school has started, they will get to spend more time together playing and enjoying in their little talks about dancing, math and future… Even though they’re still children, both of them are sure that they will always have one another, and that regardless where the life takes them from here, their friendship will last forever…

New school year brought happiness to Muhammad as well, who is from Iraq and is currently staying with his family at the Temporary Reception Center Sedra. Muhammad attends elementary school Ostrožac (District School Prošići), but still prefers to speak in English. However, he loves Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus we are sure that soon enough he will successfully master the Bosnian language.

“I stayed in Bosnia because it’s a beautiful country. I’m happy to be back to school“, says Muhammad.

In five elementary schools in the Una-Sana Canton, 187 refugee, migrant and asylum seeking children currently residing in this area will join the clasess.

Some of them are in school since the first day, and the rest will join later, once their medical examination is completed.

Through the partnership of UNICEF, Save the Children and the the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Una – Sana Canton Government, with the support of the European Union, refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking children have been re-integrated into the education system of the Una-Sana Canton this year. Children will initially go to HEART-based preparatory classes, wher those who are exposed to stress or have encountered traumatic events are helped to find new ways to learn and share their feelings and experiences using painting, music, drama and other forms of art.