October 30 2007
Official opening of SOS Children's Village in Serbia
30/10/2007 - On 25 October the SOS Children's Village Kraljevo in central Serbia was proclaimed officially open. Presently home to 59 children in need, the village offers family-based care for a maximum of 90 children in 14 families.
In presence of many government representatives, friends and neighbours of the village as well as SOS co-workers from all former Yugoslav republics where SOS Children's Villages is active, the village was proclaimed open by Mr Richard Pichler, Secretary-General of SOS-Kinderdorf International, and Ms Liljana Lucic, State Secretary for Labour and Social Policy.
"I've laid the cornerstone for this village and I am very happy to be here again for an even happier reason," said Ms Lucic who then emphasized her satisfaction with the conditions which SOS Children's Village Kraljevo provides to the Serbian children in need: "This is a very successful way of simulating real family life which is implemented everywhere in the world."
"In the past two decades many SOS Children's Villages were established in the Balkan countries. Kraljevo is the youngest in this family. I wish you look back after many years and are proud with what you've accomplished," said Mr Pichler, thanking the donors and sponsors for their contributions which made an idea into a reality, the local authorities and friends for their support, as well as the SOS co-workers from the surrounding countries who put in tireless efforts in bringing the youngest Balkan village to life.
Mutual support and understanding
From the very beginning of construction in mid-2003, the SOS Children's Village Kraljevo was a focal point of tireless efforts and support by SOS co-workers from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Macedonia. From advices through legal assistance to training of staff, each SOS Children's Village from the three countries somehow contributed to the Serbian SOS Children's Village.
The differences which brought an end to SFR Yugoslavia* just two decades ago seemed petty in comparison to the language of understanding and compassion spoken among the SOS co-workers. "The fact that we are already an hour late with the departure is self-explanatory," smiled the pedagogue of SOS Children's Village Sarajevo on the impossibility to bid goodbye of the Bosnian and Serbian SOS co-workers.
Especially happy were the seven Bosnian SOS mothers who two years ago hosted the first Serbian SOS mothers during their training. "I'm very happy to see my Jela has a full house," said SOS mother Mevlida from Sarajevo about her 'trainee', friend and first Serbian SOS mother Jela. "I'm definitely visiting again, only next time I'm bringing my children."
* Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia were part of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1992.