In period 23rd and 24th May 2019, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina supported by Caritas Banja Luka organized study visit „learning on best practises “for staff in Caritas working on migrant situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of the visit is learning on our own good practices, but also to show some other reality to staff working in Salakovac with the same population. The first day, staff used to make a meeting in Caritas Banja Luka office. This has been opportunity to exchange the newest information’s regarding migrant situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and plan the visit in Bihać.
Second day, staff from three Caritas, Nikica Prskalo and Tanja Valentić from Banja Luka, Zrinka Majstorović and Darja Čobanović from Mostar, and, Kristina Bičvić and Dijana Muzička from Caritas B&H visited Caritas Banja Luka laundry service in Bira camp in Bihać. Two employees Katica and Brankica in laundry service welcomed all with a huge smile, just as they have been smiling for migrants for the past year in this camp. Katica told us her story: „It is not easy to look those people living in so inhuman conditions. We know here in laundry what means for them possibility to wash and dry clothes here. We do not know the language, but the language is not necessary. It is quite enough if see their smile and expression on their faces. That is my reward. You know, for months, we used to find 5 pfennigs, 10 or 20 in their pocket. After a while, I counted the money, it was around 20, 00 convertible marks (10 euros). I started to think what to do with it, to give some of them to buy something, or something else? I wondered, if I just give the money that would be easy, but for me as it was not quite enough. Therefore, I paid for them Holy Mass, on their behalf. For God to keep them safe and to find better life. I am a religious woman, I really believe in strength of prayer. “
After laundry service visit, staff visited “Social café” managed by Italian organization IPSIA, placed in Bira camp, just a few meters from laundry service. With staff from IPSIA and Italian Caritas, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina staff heard the story how they make the life of these people more bearable. In social café migrants can drink a hot tea, talk among themselves or simple listen a music under their choice, from a loudspeaker connected with Bluetooth to their phones. Caritas Banja Luka in upcoming period is going to support this social café with supplies of tea.
After the meetings staff made a round through Bihać, saw many migrants moving around, Student Dormitory location and around this location many women with children. After the visit, staff exchanged their opinions of what they saw, felt or do. They could see the difference between different locations.