Children Don't Just Need Teachers and Parents - Children Need Children

by NDFAuthors

  • Mar 26, 2021

When spring comes to the village of Stopanja, it will not only bring warmer weather but a new preschool too.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, what time is it? – you could hear children from “the Biseri” preschool singing. Teacher Zoka was showing them the dance moves that go along with the song, and they were clumsily trying to repeat them. Something that only seems like a game is actually very important. “These movements can help you understand someone who has a speech impediment like our group mate. If you learn these movements, you will understand when he asks you what time it is”, the teacher explains to them.

Every day children learn such important life lessons through play in preschool. That is why the small community in the village of Stopanja, the municipality of Trstenik, cares that as many children as possible receive quality early education. This area located in the valley of the West Morava has a long and rich tradition. The first Serbian poetess, Jefimija, wrote some of her greatest poems right there. Trstenik proudly celebrates such achievements and that is why he wants to invest in future small talents. However, 657 children living on the territory of this municipality, unfortunately, do not have the opportunity to attend preschool, and there is a great need in the local community to expand the capacity of the preschool institution.

That is why in spring, our team will open a new 280 square meters large preschool, which will be able to receive 75 children from the village of Stopanja, and the surrounding places  annually.

Meet this little community that believes in children’s dreams!

Teachers Zorica and Ljiljana

“Currently, we use this small space for educating 35 children, while parents’ interest in early education is growing. They need more time for work or personal free time, and they also recognized how important socialization is for children in this period. Our community understands that children don’t just need educators and parents – children need children. “

Our team will open a new 280 square meters large preschool, which will be able to receive 75 children from the village of Stopanja, and the surrounding places  annually.

Our team will open a new 280 square meters large preschool, which will be able to receive 75 children from the village of Stopanja, and the surrounding places  annually.

Grandpa Miodrag and granddaughter Nevena

In the villages around Stopanje, there are generally few children in the neighborhood who have no one to hang out with and grow up with. Grandpa Miodrag and his granddaughter Nevena come from the village of Gornja Omašnica where there is no preschool, and that’s why they have to come to the village of Stopanje. Nevena’s parents are employed and often cannot come to pick her up, but that is why Grandpa is here to help.

“It was easier at my age and there were a lot of children. Now the children do not socialize that much. A lot of young people are leaving. Most of them finish college in the cities Nis or Belgrade and stay there, they do not return to the village. That is why I hope that the new preschool will strengthen our community, provide better conditions for parents to raise their children and be an additional motivation for young people to stay here and start families. “

Little Mina and her dad

Mina’s father says that it was important for them that she goes to preschool so that she could learn to share things with other children.

“We will enroll our other daughter too,   who is now 5 years old because we noticed how much Mina benefited from the time in preschool. It will mean a lot to me that I will be able to leave them both in a full-day stay. As a child, I also went to preschool and enjoyed it, so I am happy that my daughters will have that beautiful experience. “

According to teachers Zorica and Ljiljana, the children in the village are somewhat forgotten. No special sports, cultural, fun activities are organized for them, and parents are forced to take them to larger cities where they could give them a new educational experience. Some parents can’t afford it. That is why it is important for teachers to give children in the village the same opportunities as children in the city.

“The urban environment provides many diverse experiences in which children can recognize themselves, while rural areas do not. That is why we are here to recognize their interests and help them try something new and develop new skills. We want to boost their potential. “

In the new preschool, we will provide the possibility of a full-day stay, which will mean a lot to parents. Children are usually cared for by one of the parents who is not employed, and the new preschool will give them the opportunity to look for employment as well.

Because of your generous donations, the community in the village of Stopanja will enrich the childhood of their little ones. Our team continues to open preschools and change lives in villages across Serbia. If you want to support us, join via this link.