Vanja, who is working for our partner organisation „Sara“ in Srebrenica discribes her experiences and how she felt during the last week since the beginning of the pandemic.

Here we living according to the measures that are implemented by the government of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegowina. In the beginning of the pandemic older people who are 65 years old and older were not allowed to go out, but now they can go out on Tuesday and Friday from 8 to 10 o’clock to fulfill their basic needs (I don’t know what to say about this, because there is a lot of people that live alone and many are scared by the horrifying information, so they don’t go out at all). Alongside with that we are all obligated to stay at home from 20:00 until 6:00 in the morning during the police hour. On the weekends it is forbidden to leave your place of residence. You can only move within your municipality. It is obligatory to wear protective masks and gloves, but it is really hard to find those to buy, which is a problem for the population.

The streets are almost deserted, people only go out for food and medicine supplies, if necessary. There are no open restaurants or cafes, only shops, pharmacies, post offices, gas stations and public institutions, in short working hours.
Everything is quite difficult and uncertain. There is a lot of news that are really bad and people are scared and disoriented. If you have in mind that the political mafia brought the system of this country to collapse, now we can not even rely on public health institutions that don’t have the right equipment.
Schools are now having classes online, which is something new for all of the teachers and the students, and which is very challenging. In Srebrenica over 80 students of elementary school do not have computer equipment, and 28 of them do not have access to internet, and 117 students uses mobile phone and mobile data to have access to online schooling (and these are just the numbers for the First elementary school in Srebrenica, which has over 300 students) .
As for the Association „Sara – Srebrenica“, our project has for now suspended our other regular activities. It is quite uncertain how our work will be organized. For now all of our time and resources are put at the disposal to the community. Many of us are busy at our sewing machines, helping to make protective masks that we donate to the people and workers. Also, we are in contact with the Civil protection and Red Cross and we have made available all our resources in case of any need.

The little freedom that we can reasonably use to walk through nature without gathering and socializing, however, gives my a glimmer of hope.

I hope that this pandemic will be as painless as possible, more than ever I look forward to the freedom and meeting dear people.