By Sanja Elezovic, RDDC/Bosnia-Herzegovina
December 12, 2012
As I wrote in one of my earlier blogs about street kids in Rwanda, it is my opinion that, here in BiH, we have some other kind of street: social networks and television. – Sanja
It’s funny how time flies by and most of us aren’t even aware of it. We are always walking in the same cycle of our daily routines. Then, one day, we stop and look behind ourselves to see where we arrived and if we are satisfied with ourselves. But what will happen if we choose to look behind ourselves more often? To see what happened within and around us? Will we be more successful? And what is the success of our life? Once I heard a story with this message: „Everyone thinks depending on who he is.“ So, I think that everyone needs to ask himself this question more often and find his own answers.
Now, when I look back at myself and see all those children’s faces which made my days more valuable, I know that my presence did make some progress. I can’t stop wondering how these children changed me as a person, or more importantly, did I help them to change at all? Every day I realize that it’s not easy to be a child these days in this modern world. My Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) team started our dance workshops – including some creative and educational ones – in an elementary school in Mostar. At first, we were excited about it. We had a new interesting group of young people full of life and energy, but the beginning was a little bit difficult. I know it is always difficult at first, but there is one thing that surprised me a lot and not in a good way. These kids in our first meeting were full of negative comments about each other and the world in general.
All that social negativity, which is present in social networks and television, sets bad examples of success, the wrong role models, and inaccurate ideas of a happy life or love. After our class, I was thinking about why this thing happened to these generations. Where did society and parents fail in their roles, or more importantly, how can we help them? How can we help both the kids and their parents in this modern world? There aren’t universal answers for all these questions, but I just want to tell people to slow down in their lives and start thinking about what they think! Don’t miss a chance to change the future through our present living.
As I wrote in one of my earlier blogs about street kids in Rwanda, it is my opinion that, here in BiH, we have some other kind of street: social networks and television. These make kids grow up faster and have some wrong life values. It’s not all that black and white, of course. There are really good things that modern life and social networks are bringing to us, but it’s just that we need to find a balance and be critical in choosing content.
I’m really proud to have the privilege of working with kids and youth – to see sincere smiles on their faces and to be there to listen to them and share my thoughts with them. In this group, there is one boy who is seen as a „problematic one“. It’s not easy working with him, so we gave him a role as „the little helper“ in our class. He needs to maintain the discipline in the class, and it’s really interesting to see his methods and how he is becoming more aware of his own behavior in the class.
I can’t wait to see and compare this group from their first steps in these workshops and one year from now. I really hope that there is going to be more positive role models in their lives.
Sanja Elezovic is the lead youth dance instructor for RDDC’s program in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. She was born in Mostar and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.