The new Kindergarten at Bijelo Polje is a beacon of hope in an area that was ethnically cleansed during the ‘92 –’95 war.  The Franciscan Convent and School were destroyed but the ruins still stand as a reminder of those cruel days and of man’s inhumanity to man.

A beautiful new Convent was built by kind donors and the Kindergarten is located close by. Opening a school gave hope and courage to people to return to the area.  There are now two classrooms in operation with almost 40 under 6s.  Sr Dominika Anic and Sr Lidija Banozic, with their loving care and creativity, encourage the children in their development and preparation for entry to state school at six years of age.

Arthur McCluskey, founder of St Joseph & The Helpers Charity, visited Bijelo Polje in June 2011.  They needed the charity’s help to provide furniture and equipment for two classrooms and two sleeping areas in readiness for the opening in September.  They also needed to install and equip a kitchen where food would be prepared for the children’s lunch.

Arthur’s last gift as a director of the charity was to say “yes” to their request.  Sadly, he passed away suddenly on 13th August 2011 and was unable to attend the official opening of the Kindergarten.  Other directors stood in his place to witness the joy on the faces of the Franciscan Sisters, the parents and their beautiful children.

 

Arthur’s work goes on, just as he had wanted.  Donors have since provided funds to landscape the playground and to provide swings, slides and climbing frames.  Funds are needed to equip an indoor gym for use during the cold winter months.  Due to high unemployment and widespread poverty, many parents are unable to afford even the very low fee.  If you would like to sponsor a child to the Kindergarten, your support would be a great gift to a child in need.