(Sarajevo) Prepared by residents of Sarajevo or students in their schools, hundreds of parcels were delivered to the Museum dedicated to childhood in the war in the Bosnian capital, to be sent to Ukrainian children for the New Year.
Inspired by a story told as part of the museum’s exhibition, this operation, launched in early December, resulted in the collection of more than a thousand parcels, employee Mirela Geko told AFP on Thursday.
They will be sent in the next few days to be distributed to children in Ukraine and those who have taken refuge with their families in Poland, ten months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Even if these packages may seem too small to us […], for these children it is enormous because they now live in cold conditions, deprived of the essentials of life, without the possibility of playing. I think those who were children during the war in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 can understand that,” says Mirela Geko.
She herself was 5 years old when she received a package sent by a Bosnian girl who had taken refuge in Denmark. This moment remains one of his strongest memories of the siege of Sarajevo.
For a moment, the war had stopped for me, everything bad around me was gone, and I felt like I was at the center of the world. This is precisely what we would like to achieve with this operation: to show the children of Ukraine that they are the center of the world for us.
Mirela Geko, who is now 34
Parcels delivered in recent weeks are stacked in the rooms and corridors of this museum dedicated to children in the war, especially in Bosnia, but which sometimes also exhibits collections sent from other corners of the planet.
Most of them nicely decorated, some parcels are stamped with a Ukrainian flag or a message, like that of Nejra wishing her unknown friend “all the best for the New Year”, that she be “loved, in good health , happy and at peace.
Ana Mocnaj, 35, came to bring a package “for a 14-year-old girl”. She put some drawing materials in it, a necklace, a scarf, a hat, chocolates and biscuits, roughly the contents of the package she herself had received in Sarajevo during the war, sent by Marie , a Frenchwoman, who had also written him a letter of encouragement.
“At that time it was really something special for me, I thought I had a friend somewhere. It’s an opportunity to give back this nice gesture”, says this French teacher in a school in Sarajevo.