JULY AT SVITAC (FIREFLY) – volunteer’s blog

July turned out to be a very interesting month for all of us here at Svitac (Firefly) as the ebb and flow of the centre has gone from one extreme to the other, almost as quickly as we all seem to be hurling through the months of 2017. Feels as though we were celebrating the New Year Party merely a week ago, and now it seems that we are over half of the year deep. Where does the time go, but for in memories and milestones.

In July we said our farewells to some fantastic international volunteers and voiced our greetings to the new. Amongst those whom completed their volunteering runs with us were Andrea and John. Both volunteers come from the United States of America – east and west coast respectively – and both sharing a curiosity and love for Bosnia. The place, the culture, the people.

Andrea is a student of Florida State University with aspirations of becoming a lawyer, she came to Brčko as a self-funded volunteer, and spent most of her free time exploring the country and all that it has to offer. Whilst at Svitac (Firefly), Andrea assisted in many workshops as well as leading many herself including Spanish language, English language, free arts, and sports. Her positivity and determination towards the work we do kept us all pushing to do better than we all already do. Thanks for the smiles, laughs, and all that you have done in teaching the youth of Brčko.

John is a retired HR manager from one of the largest aviary companies in the states. He lives just outside of Seattle, Washington, and as of now owns and operates a small music instrument repair and refurbishment business. This is not the first time you have all heard about John as he has volunteered here at Svitac (Firefly) before, in the middle months of 2016 and he visited Bosnia back in 2014 as well, so you know that this guy just plain loves this country and all who reside within it. Whilst volunteering at Svitac (Firefly), John has helped assist in all aspects of our daily workshops and has ran quite a few of them too. His upbeat attitude and problem solving skills will be missed at Svitac (Firefly)… right up until we see him again, we’re sure!

Enough about the lovely people that have come to leave us; this month we have extended our welcome to three new volunteers. Help us in greeting Merve and Serif from Turkey, and David from the United States of America. We at Svitac (Firefly) hope that you find what you are looking for in this volunteering experience and that the youth of Brčko pick up all they can from these fantastic international educators.

The biggest events of the month include cultural presentations from Andrea and John about their respective coastal cities of Seattle and Miami, the learning of some new songs that help the kids in the younger group learn the names of the days of the week in both local and English language, and a whole cavalcade of Sport, Art, Language learning, and all round education.
Yes, this sounds like a sparse month, but we have been working tirelessly bringing our well balanced schedule of informal education workshops AND preparing for August’s Summer Camps! Language, Art, and Music camps for all ages towards the end of August takes a lot out of all of us here at Svitac (Firefly), so we are putting all that we can into their development.

Watch this space to see what we have in store for August. Please remember to keep in touch for more on Svitac (Firefly) and all that we do by continuing in reading this blog or by following us on Facebook (Omladinska Organizacija Svitac), Twitter (Svitac_BiH) and Instagram (svitacbrcko) for more regular updates!

Hvala puno! (Thank you very much!)

Ben Owens, Svitac (Firefly) EVS volunteer

 

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