Opening Doors national coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegonvina (BiH) has hosted a successful event to raise awareness of foster parenting as a family-based alternative to institutional care. The event was part of Children’s Week in the country and included testimonies of foster parents whose decision to become part of this service prevented the institutionalisation of the children in their care. As a result, 5 new families showed interest in becoming foster parents.
The initiative celebrated three foster families, including one family fostering a child with disabilities, who shared their stories. It was attended by children, young people, adults and child protection professionals alike, and was covered in the local media. “I would foster a baby all over again, no matter the pain and grief when they leave. You love each child, and you keep in touch with all of them”, declared Vanja Elezović, foster parent.
“It’s not easy being a foster carer, but it fills your heart with joy. That’s why I got involved with the association of foster carers. It is like having your own child.” Said Adila Muharemovic, foster carer and president of Association of Foster Carers of Sarajevo Canton.
The event also featured a photography exhibition on children in foster families and institutions, as well as a theater performance during which the actors portrayed their personal stories and re-enacted the foster parent’s joys, challenges, fears, and willpower in relation to fostering.