Mia, Laza, and Mateja were just one of many children who didn’t go to preschool – but together we changed that!
By opening new preschools, we do not give children only the chance to learn something new. We also provide them with a safe space where they can overcome their fears, get comfortable with playing and talking to their peers and discover their hidden talents. Simply put – by opening preschools we change the lives of children in Serbia.
Unfortunately, in Serbia, only every other child has access to preschool education. But we want to change that! Our goal for this year’s Season of Giving campaign is to raise 100.000$ for the opening of new preschools for children in Serbia. Until now we have opened 44 preschools and helped over 22.000 children. But there is still a long way to go…
Mia, Laza, and Mateja were just one of many children in Serbia who didn’t go to preschool. Their villages had many financial and administrative obstacles, and there was simply not enough money to invest in early childhood education.
However, thanks to the support of our donors, we’ve changed that!
Read their stories and how new preschools helped them overcome their fears and courageously strive towards their dreams…
Meet Mateja – A Talented Boy from Our School of Life
In 2015, we have opened our School of Life in the Municipality of Merošina. On one of our visits, we met Mateja, a six-year-old boy who is famous in his class for building amazing things with blocks.
He plays with blocks every day and other children are so fond of watching his creativity and imagination in action. He experienced the joy of playing with blocks for the first time in preschool. Yet he was able to build amazing things, such as a pirate ship, right from the start – reveals Danijela, their teacher.
„I’m grateful my children have the opportunity to receive proper education in their early years and play and enjoy with their friends. Unfortunately, we can’t afford the toys and books they have here. We are farmers and our income may significantly vary, depending on whether the harvest is good or bad. Moreover, spending time in kindergarten isn’t just beneficial for children. It means a lot to parents as well. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to fulfill all my duties at home.“, sais Mateja’s mom.
Meet Mia – One Brave Little Girl from Our School of Life in Kukujevci
Mia loves every minute she spends at preschool with all of the many friends she has made there. She is downhearted because the preschool is closed on weekends, and she simply can’t wait for Monday to meet her teacher and other children again.
“I enjoy the moments when I’m with my friends at the playground. Swings are my favorite outdoor playset. Swinging gives me a sense of freedom. My feet are off the ground and I feel I can fly and touch the sky – says Mia.
I also like my teacher. She helps me navigate through some difficulties and thanks to her I know that everything will be ok.”
This is how little Mia describes her experience at the School of Life in the village of Kukujevci in northern Serbia.
The opening of preschool in this municipality has changed her life for the better. Now Mia can spend some quality time in a safe, caring and stimulating environment, she can forge new friendships and start her preparations for school through attending educational programs, offered in this preschool.
Mia is aware of her health problem. However, constantly smiling, she leaves all worries behind and tries to bring happiness and joy among children in her class. Mia suffers from juvenile diabetes. Though still a child, she thinks and acts like an adult. Mia has gradually learned to listen to her body, to recognize the symptoms of her illness and to respond accordingly.
When she needs to test her blood sugar level during the day, she takes the appropriate kit and skillfully does the check. Then she returns to the educational and entertaining activities, all while having a lot of fun with her friends.
Mia gets a special lunch at preschool to match her prescribed diet plan. Her mother visits her regularly to see if she is fine. At the same time, the children in her class are more than friendly and nice to her.
Meet Laza – a boy who overcame his communication problems
Little Lazar, attends a preschool in Bobovo – a village close by city Svilajnac, with no more than 1000 people. Most of the people have left to work abroad, so there are only a small number of children living in the village. Houses in this village are very far away from each other, so all the kids are usually playing by themselves in their house yards. They rarely spend time and talk to other children their age.
Since he didn’t have a chance to form a bond with children his age, he developed some communication difficulties early on.
His mother, Anita, started to worry that this could harm the rest of his growing up. Fortunately, it all changed for the better when the Foundation and the local authorities opened a preschool in Bobovo.
Municipality of Svilajnac adapted and reconstructed the preschool, and the Foundation equipped it with all the necessary furniture, didactic, sports materials and consumables. The preschool is currently attended by almost all children from the village aged 3-6 years old, who have by now become best friends. When we visited them, they were busy working on their art projects. They were painting their very own t-shirts! Lazar was painting a volcano on his t-shirt, while his friends and teacher helped him.
Lazar’s parents were overwhelmed with joy when they heard that the preschool will be opened. It comforted them to know that their child is learning and playing in a safe environment while they are at work.
“It is much easier now when all the children from the village are grouped in one place. We are so happy that Lazar now has a chance to play and talk to children his age. With the help of the teacher and the school’s speech therapist, he overcame his communication difficulties very quickly! Now he communicates with his friends much better. Every day he comes home with a new song or a new story from the preschool”, says his mother Anita.
By joining our Season of Giving campaign, you can help us open new preschools for 200 children in Serbia. Your donation, no matter the amount, can put smiles on children’s faces because they will finally get a chance to play, learn and grow with their peers in a safe and stimulating environment where they can reach their full potential. Your act of kindness can change their lives!