The institution in Pazarić was established in 1949. It houses about 400 people with severe disabilities, including 20 children. For a long time it has been severely under-funded by the government.
The conditions when we first began working with the institution were shocking. The children spent all of their time indoors, some were malnourished and tied down to their beds to prevent them harming themselves.
Naša Djeca has employed personal carers for three severely disabled children and built a children’s playground on site.
The work at the Pazarić Institution has been a wonderful success and transformed the lives of these children, but of course here are many more throughout the country who still desperately need help.
Irma is severely autistic. She was also seriously malnourished and tied to her bed most of the time. The institution had obviously given up the hope that she would survive long. Naša Djeca employed a carer for Irma. She was the first child in Bosnia and Herzegovina to receive a personal carer.
Irma undertook a huge change in diet, from purely liquid substances to one filled with vitamins and solid fruits. She was unbound and given toys and clothing to distract her and prevent self-harm. She now sleeps alone, laughs and dances. Most importantly, she gets the love and care she needs, and is now able to show emotions for the first time.
Zejna is blind and used to spend her time lying down in bed with her back curved in the same position for a long time. She was on a liquid diet, taking her food from a baby bottle. She is very communicative and had expressed her desire to have a carer.
In autumn 2012 Naša Djeca was able to employ a carer for Zejna too. It’s a long way to go but Zejna is developing at her own pace. She enjoys walking and is now moving more and appears much fitter and healthier. She is also trying to overcome her fear of water. She was very happy when she touched the snow again after a very long time.
Harun, despite the difficulties caused by his illness, is a happy boy by nature. He also lives in the Pazarić Institution. He used to spend most of his time bound to his bed. In the spring of 2013 Harun started receiving personal care as well. The carer focuses on giving attention and loving care to the boy, so he can live as happy a life as possible.