thomas does: Balkan Diaries I Centar Duga Kinderheim
Here is the second episode in Thomas Bönig’s “thomas does: Balkan Diaries” series . Click here to read the first part.
Guardian Angel wanted.
A newborn lies in its bed. It doesn’t have a name yet – the child welfare office will send a notifier in a few weeks. A piece of paper defining a name for a lifetime. The baby is screaming until the nurses cover it with blankets, caressing the little head until it falls asleep. Maybe a few hours will pass until it will wake again. To understand why the mother left, right after giving birth to it, years will pass – maybe decades.
We learned a lot during our visit at the orphanage near Bihac. That children can be unbelievably well-mannered – when they are treated the right way and gain trust. Rainbow bubbles can provide infinite joy and laughing makes blowing impossible. And that dedicated people can provide an almost irreplaceably important contribution, as soon as they started realizing their ideas.
Those families, very often dysfunctional beyond compare, are given help and psychological care, to stabilize the structures. The parents often aren’t even able of providing a minimum of parental care as they are too poor, too weak, too apathetic, too sick or just too drunk – scarred by war. The consequences will be inherited by the future generations of abandoned children in Bihac. But by helping exactly where help is needed, Centar Duga succeeds at reintegrating every third child in their respective families. Sometimes after a few months, sometimes after years.
- Axel Rabenstein, text
- Thomas Bönig, images