'Baby-boom' in northern Bosnian communities, locals demand school to reopen

NEWS 17.01.2019 09:06
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Source: N1

The departure of youth and complete families, empty villages, and empty schools have long been one of Bosnia’s major problems. However, villages near Gradiska, northern Bosnia, are a complete opposite. Families there with four and more children are often seen, and now they are asking for a school to reopen in Berek village.

N1 visited one of such family. Prolic family has five children.

“I’m a mother of three, and my husband has two more from his previous marriage. Everything must be organised from morning to evening, but I’d like another child. Where there’s room for three, there’s room for four, actually six children,” Milica Prolic said for N1.

Child and maternity allowance provided by the state are welcome, but they are not enough. Milica is a stay-at-home mum and her husband Nikola works several jobs so his family could have a normal life.

“This is what we decided, and we live for them. We do all kinds of jobs to sustain our family. We do a little bit of farming, agriculture, and every other thing that can provide us comp some livelihood,” Nikola Prolic said.

There are many families in the villages of Berek and Cervoljani with three, four and up to nine children. Milivojac couple has a total of seven children from the previous and current marriage.

“We have three children from this marriage and two children each from previous marriages. That’s a total of seven. We love it. They are our treasure and our everything in this life. All in all, we are very happy,” Sanja Milivojac said.

From some 100 houses, 56 children came to receive their New Year’s presents. The residents say they can make a living and there are no welfare cases in their local communities, but they ask the authorities to renovate and reopen the local school.

Over 80 children attended the local school once, but due to the departure of the locals, the school closed some 20 years ago and never reopened. Because of this ‘baby-boom,’ the locals say they need the school to reopen.