Help for the children of Olovo

Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of the Day Center for children in the flooded areas of the municipality of Olovo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Zenica Doboj Canton, Municipality Olovo
Project Duration: 
01/10/2014 to 31/12/2014
Foundation UNESCO
Project Description: 

In mid-May 2014 and in August 2014, after heavy precipitation and continuous rainfall, 30% of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered from major flooding and landslides, which had devastating effects on an already weak economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 950,000 people were displaced and at least 100,000 buildings and houses, including 230 schools and healthcare facilities were damaged or destroyed. The floods hit 36 municipalities in the Republika Srpska and 15 in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

One of the municipalities which was most affected by floods was Olovo in Zenica Doboj Canton. Because of flooded rivers, Olovo was declared a state of natural and other disasters on 14th of May 2014. Therefore, the inhabitants of Olovo had to be evacuated.

Numerous residential buildings and institutions were damaged or even destroyed. One of which is the building that was chosen to accommodate the new Daily Center for Children in Olovo. The Daily Center is a safe place where children can play, do their homework or do sports. Since the flooding, pedagogues observed symptoms of trauma in flood-affected children that manifested though increased irritability, fear of the dark and stress. In order to support and to improve the mental health of children affected by the floods and to treat visible emotional and psychological consequences and trauma, HOPE’87 and the City of Olovo decided to renovate the flood-affected building and to go ahead with the establishing of the new Day Center for Children, aiming at re-establishing a sense of security and “normal” everyday life for those children.

The project activities targeted children between the age of 6-15 years whose families were especially affected by the recent floods, focusing in particular on children from the most vulnerable families. This target group was chosen due to the delicate social and health situation of the children considering that their living conditions before the floods were already poor and worsened since.