From September 2013 to March 2014 we organized another program in order to support the protégés of the Bjelave Home for children without parental care. One of the main goals of the program was to help them with their everyday school assignments as well as changing their school grades for the better. We have managed to help them get better grades and what’s more important, build a sort of basis for these subjects which have proved to be particularly difficult for them. Not to mention the psychological support to try and improve, as well as the support with the everyday issues.
This was a sort of continuation of the project from 2011, as well as our commitment to working with the Home which dates back to 2007. Apart from the assistance in some of the most problematic school subjects, this time we managed to organize sessions with a speech therapist for the children, which turned out to be one of the biggest achievements of the project. Teachers who worked with the children were all young enthusiastic students or graduates who wanted to gain experience in teaching. In that way, it is our belief, we help both the children and the teachers in gaining new perspectives and finding new ways of teaching/learning.
In August we had a public call for teachers. We received 69 applications out of which we selected 25 candidates for the interview. Interviews were an opportunity to show the candidates’ motivation to work with the children and show their ideas on how to contribute to the project. After that, we selected the teachers for the project, and it had initially included 7 of them (2 Math teachers, 2 English teachers, 1 Physics teacher, 1 BCS teacher and 1 German teacher). However, we entered the project with the following makeup: 2 BCS teachers, 1 Math teacher, 1 Physics teacher, 1 German teacher and 2 English teachers
Working actively and on a daily basis on school assignments has immensely influenced the students, in the sense that they have become more hard-working. It has shown them that the school assignments are not something to be afraid of, what's more, that it is something which can be mastered. This has served as a great source of motivation for them: it has increased their interest (which is particularly important for us), as well as improved their grades.
Before the project started, we bought 40 books for the children, all of which were books they tend to need for their school assignments. In relation to this, we made a public call on our website for anyone willing to donate books (we attached the list of the relevant books) and we managed to gather around 20 books in this way. Later on, we bought bookshelves for the books and the Home staff placed them on several locations, mostly the ‘living rooms’ within the Home premises.
We have also found a way to make use of the books we have provided for the children. During the project, we organized a book club: our teachers were working with the children on Saturdays, on voluntary basis. They helped them with the reading assignments and they organized movie projections on the basis of the books they were supposed to read.
“Ovaj projekat je omogućila velikodušna podrška američkog naroda putem Američke ambasade u Sarajevu i svi stavovi, mišljenja i zaključci izneseni ovdje ne odražavaju nužno stav Američke ambasade ili Vlade SAD, već isključivo autora“