My volunteering at Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) – Wouter Pels, the Netherlands
When I started my voluntary service at Svitac (Firefly Bosnia), I wasn’t sure if I was up for the task. I had never worked with children before and I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle myself in an unknown environment for 3 months. All I can say is that the 3 months flew by, and I had a great time with Svitac’s (Firefly Bosnia’s) staff, the other volunteers, and of course the children!
In a country still very much divided by the events of 20 years ago, Svitac’s (Firefly Bosnia’s) work on reconciliation and tolerance amongst the youth within Brčko provides a vital contribution to the peace amongst the different ethnicities in Brčko, and I was honoured to be a part of it. Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) is a place that allows creativity to flourish, and where diversity is celebrated through all sorts of interesting projects. During my time I had the chance to work with some of the kindest people I’ve ever met, coming from both Svitac’s (Firefly Bosnia’s) staff and the international and local volunteers, and I felt at home right away. Working with the children was always a lot of fun, and seeing the children laughing and enjoying themselves is a great feeling.
Last but not least Brčko (and Bosnia and Herzegovina in general) is a great and beautiful place to do volunteering. Despite its delicate political situation the people were always friendly, the food was amazing, and the nature is absolutely stunning. I will definitely come back to Bosnia and Herzegovina when I get the chance, and Brčko will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Volunteering at Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) was a huge step into the unknown for me, but afterwards I can say that I’m very happy and grateful that I had to opportunity to spend these months with an amazing group of people. I would like to thank Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) for an amazing experience, and wish the organization the best of luck in continuing its important work within the Brčko District.
Wouter Pels, the Netherlands
Svitac (Firefly Bosnia) volunteer, September – December 2018