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Visit to kindergarten in Petrovac on the Mlava

by , Posted on 14th Jun 2014

The Foundation team paid a visit to Petrovac on the Mlava earlier this week – one of the dozens of towns in Serbia that suffered extensive damage during the May floods. The reason for our visit was preschool institution “Galeb” (Seagull) and its kindergarten. Before the floods, about 350 children attended the kindergarten. It is now closed until further notice, because there are no conditions for attendance and children care.

Foundation Novak Djokovic has invested a lot of effort to inform the public outside of Serbia about severe natural disaster that hit Serbia in May, and about ways to donate funds to repair the flood damage. Many of our friends who believe in our goals and support the Foundation’s work, enabled us, through their donations, to get involved in an important task ahead of us – help preschool institutions and schools which suffered damage due to flooding.

Petrovac is facing effects of natural disaster for the second time in a relatively short time span in history. In 2002, the Mlava river spilled over together with its tributaries Busora, Vitovnica and Cokordina, and caused tremendous damage to the population of Petrovac.

12 years later, this town experienced the same disaster, but on a much greater scale. The Mlava river spilled on May 15, and Petrovac was flooded on both sides. Health facilities, gymnasium, kindergarten, football stadium, dozens of households and 8,000 hectares of agricultural land were all under water for days.

Kindergarten “Galeb”, the only nursery in Petrovac, has about 1000 m² available. Before the floods, it hosted about 350 children, but due to the extensive damage, it is closed until further notice.

During the storm in May, a tree broke a window in one of the classrooms, which cause flooding of the kindergarten. The water stayed in the facility for almost a week, reaching the level of over 1.5 m. As the water retreated, the employees started to drain and clean the facility with the help of local people, but they couldn’t do much.

The water destroyed the floors and migrated within the walls, which are still wet. The whole building should be dried before the renovation of what was destroyed takes place. Drawing on the experience of previous floods, the kindergarten staff managed to save some of the equipment and furniture, but most of it was washed away or destroyed.

After the field visit to Petrovac, our team is working hard to prepare documents to make first steps towards renovation. The work will be done in cooperation with the municipality. However, before the works can even start, the facility needs to be dried. We are looking forward to help the renovation and equipping of the building so we can make it ready, as soon as possible, for the return of the children.

How are the things in your city or town? Please share your experiences. Also, take a look at the pictures below to see the level of destruction in Petrovac on the Mlava 

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