Leonor Stjepic, CEO of Montessori Group reflects on the war in Ukraine, sharing her experience of working with refugee children in Croatia.
As one of a small team of volunteers working and living in a refugee camp in Croatia, based in a Croatian army barracks that had been converted into a refugee camp and hospital for the walking wounded, volunteers would try to provide the children and young people with activities that mimicked, as far as possible, the experience of going to school.
In the coming weeks we will hear much talk of refugees, as if somehow being a refugee makes you something alien or apart from the rest of us. Let’s not forget that these are people like you, like me, who had lives like you have; people whose lives have been turned upside down by the decision made by someone who, for political reasons, wanted to take over their country. People who would like nothing better for their lives to go back to what they were but whose lives have been altered forever.
The children we want to help are children who should have the right to have an education, a safe environment to grow up in and should not have to feel fear and sadness at their age. Children like your children.