PROJECTS / Reunion 2002
Monday, 20-01-2020
Wednesday, 2018-01-17

20 Jahre Campus15

Monday, 2015-12-28

Summer Camp 2016


Wednesday, 2015-04-22

Reunion 2015


Wednesday, 2015-04-22

Teach to reach, train to maintain – 21st century competencies

A Project organized by our partner from Croatia. More information you can find here.

Reunion 2002


Running track for the handicapped • Upkeep at the Garden for the Blind • Relaxation at the Beach

One year after the Summer Camp at the Malteserhof in Königswinter, Germany, a reunion took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) (Note: sometimes Bosnia and Herzegovina is abbreviated to ”Bosnia”. This is not quite correct.) On the 7th August about 40 participants - young people and camp counsellors - met up to exchange memories, to deepen friendships, to do something together for the handicapped and to learn about the country. The English and German participants arrived in Sarajevo, the capital of BiH, after a 30-hour train journey. On the trip they saw something of the ”Old Europe”: There were numerous stops during the journey through the night from Munich to Zagreb, and the following day on the journey to Sarajevo, with passport and luggage checks between Austria and Slovenia, Croatia and finally Bosnia and Herzegovina. The participants from the various regions of BiH were brought to the reunion by their parents or came by bus.
The programme started with the group working on the project for the handicapped. They then travelled through parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and finished up with a short break for relaxation at the coast. For most of the participants, working side by side with the handicapped was a very special experience. But also the geographical and political diversity of the country – the two entities, plus the sight of the destruction from the civil war which can still be seen everywhere - deeply impressed them.

During the first week activities were concentrated on the Centre for the Handicapped in Pazaric. The Institute for the Mentally Handicapped (known as ”Zavod”(The Institute)) is located thirty kilometres from Sarajevo, on the road to Mostar. It is the oldest organization of this type in ex-Yugoslavia. Even today people from all the former Yugoslav Republics are looked after there. There are good facilities for the handicapped – about three hundred children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens. They are well cared for, and as far as possible given therapy and encouraged to be as independent as possible inside the centre.)

Our reunion group, working in close cooperation with the handicapped, built a running track outside in the grounds of the centre. The track had been prepared beforehand by CAMPUS15, together with the German CIMIC (Civil Military Cooperation) corps. The doctors and therapists were eager to have the running track built, as it would challenge their patients physically. Apart from the running track, the group also created bird sculptures, and musical instruments made from simple materials, such as wood, bottles, metal rods, and plastic tubes. Afterwards everyone gathered together and played music on these instruments.
At the end of the project CAMPUS15 officially handed over the running track to the centre. The German Ambassador for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hans Jochen Peters, was present. He praised the work with the handicapped and emphasized the model character of CAMPUS15’s projects. He made it clear that more such projects, with the various ethnic groups working together, were necessary to bring progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the days in Pazaric the group travelled on to Derventa. There they worked on the garden of the School for the Blind (known as ”Buducnost” (Future)). With a burst of enthusiasm the playground equipment and the wooden fence were painted in one day! CAMPUS15 had built the garden in 2001, once again with the cooperation of the German CIMIC corps. According to the school director, Rosa Panic, this garden has been very popular with the children in the Blind School since then.

Banja Luka, capital of the Bosnian Serb Republic was the next destination. Sightseeing, strolling around the town, getting to know the surrounding area, as well as some intensive discussions were all on the programme. ”How we live” was the topic of our discussions, and the emphasis was on how we live now and what life might be like in ten years’ time.

Towards the end of the reunion there were three days of relaxation in Neum, situated on the twelve-kilometre strip of Adriatic coastline, which had already been part of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Tito’s era. From there it is just a quick hop to Dubrovnik, a mediaeval jewel on the Adriatic, and a historical testimony to a great and democratic past.

On the way back to Sarajevo the group stopped in Mostar. Here one can see and feel everywhere how little the people of Mostar have done to build a common future for themselves. Sabina, a participant from Mostar, said last year: "The town is split into two parts: Croats and Bosniacs are still fighting although the war has been over for ages. There is still no perspective for the people of this town." In earlier times the symbols of the various religions were a sign of a community living together as good neighbours. Today the religious buildings, towering higher and higher, and visible from afar, mark the political boundaries.

Of course we had a farewell party! First there was a press conference, and the newspapers and television stations sent out good reports on our activities. One TV team produced a political and cultural report for various TV stations. In the introduction they explained how important cooperation across ethnic and cultural boundaries is, especially for a country recovering from civil war such as BiH. Then they praised this year’s reunion of CAMPUS15 as exemplary.

The participants from BiH returned to their hometowns on 24th August. On the 25th August the English and German participants started their return journey by train. Of course there were many more experiences and things one could report on, for example the visit to the Orthodox Church and Synagogue in Sarajevo, the guided walks in the country, the tours of the towns, and the water games at the sea. Some of these experiences are just souvenirs, much, though, will have to thought about. For many participants one lasting impression will certainly be the feeling of having done something meaningful for mentally handicapped people, another will be the conviction that one can work on common projects in peace across ethnic and national borders.

To the pictures