The migrant crisis which struck Bosnia last year has brought many stories about unfortunate human destinies. But, there are also inspiring stories about humanity which spread rapidly across the region. One such story is the one of Dragoslav Sinik, from the northern Bosnian town of Gradiska, who provided shelter to a migrant family to hide from winter.
Dragoslav went to his summer house in a nearby village of Gasnica on the New Year's Eve. He was checking it quite often in winter days because thieves broke into the house recently and stole some of his belongings.
As he was coming closer to the house he noticed a girl who strongly resembled in appearance his daughter Sara.
“That kid was identical to my own child. I left her half an hour ago at home and now I wondered how come she is here. It made me shiver,” said Dragoslav.
When he reached the house he realised it was full of people, dozens of them
“I found out there were 23 of them, six extremely small kids, a baby of barely 9-10 months. They all watched me in fear, wondering what I was going to do. I realised they were cold. I helped them light a fire, to get warm, change their clothes. I went to a gas station in my own car, bought some food, milk, bread. I kept seeing that girl, all those kids,” said Dragoslav.
They were from Baghdad, he found out later, and they came to Gradiska on a taxi from Sarajevo which they paid €500.
The whole world was celebrating the New Year that night, but Dragoslav could not. The images of the chilled to the bone children were haunting him.
“We said goodbye each other, I told them 'may God help you wherever you go and keep your children alive and healthy',” said Dragoslav.
On early New Year morning, he took to the summer house again, where he found the migrants gathered around the fire. Two children had a fever, so he went back to the town to get them some medicines, fruit, vitamins...
A few days later the Border Police took the migrants back to Sarajevo and accommodated them in a shelter for migrants.
Dragoslav did not mind them breaking into his summer house. He would do the same for his child, he said.
Since that day he does not lock the house. There is a banner on the door saying: Open 24/7. He left some water, milk and firewood there for anyone who may come across.
His daughter brought her toys.
Dragoslav Sinik is an activist at a local centre helping children with disabilities. He has no steady income or insurance.