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Udbina, Croatia -- Learning during vacations

The annual work camp organized by Harmica Cultural Center in Zagreb was held this past July. Taking part were European university women who decided to dedicate part of their vacations to a social project. On this occasion it was held in Udbina, a village in Croatia. The group included several Swedish students from Stockholm and Malmö along with a good sized group of university girls from England and other European countries. The young women dedicated their mornings to working with elderly people who live alone and without material resources. Red Cross personnel directed the volunteers in the work of cleaning and painting homes, preparing food and accompanying the elderly. The recent war left deep wounds on this land. The girls dedicated many hours to listening to and visiting the elderly. In the evenings they offered educational activities for the children in the village.

One of the Swedish participants said: “we came because we wanted to help change the life of someone; however the change was produced in ourselves by being in contact with the needs of others.” And she added: “now we can say: yes we did learn during our vacation, and we learned things that aren’t taught in books.”

Romana, No. 49, July-December 2009, p. 342-343.