Snow-white, Anastasia and Goddess, our princesses, are three of the 119 boys and girls which found a new home, love, care, an SOS mother, brothers and sisters at SOS Children's Village Sarajevo. Here is where they are truly loved, protected and happy.
The oldest of the three merry girls is the always smiling, always cheerful Snow-white. She is five and a half years old. "She acts like she's the oldest in the house, too," says SOS mother Zehra. "She likes to set rules, but she's also very caring towards her younger sisters."
Doll play with Edna (Photo: Senad Gubelic)
Four-year-old Anastasia is the middle one, a quiet and smart girl. The youngest, Goddess, is what a youngest child always is - the one cuddling in mama's lap. Although she's just three, she already knows that when she grows up she wants to be an actress. Hence, her favourite corner in the kindergarten is the puppet theatre.
While the older brothers and sisters are at school, our three princesses hang out in the kindergarten. Neither one of the three is an early bird, yet they enjoy the time spent with their little friends. Besides "time goes quickly" says Anastasia, "breakfast, playing, rhymes, snack, noon rest and go home!" exclaims the girl raising her hands towards mama Zehra.
Lemonade makes you strong and healthy (Photo: Senad Gubelic)
At home is where the fun continues. Watching cartoons is still their favourite leisure activity. Their older SOS brother Happy is always around to find the right channel and the cartoons which Snow-white, Anastasia and Goddess love. "I like it when we all watch 'toons together in the afternoon. Goddess always has thousands of questions, but I don't find it hard to answer them all," says Happy.
When Bugs Bunny says "That's All Folks!" they engage in drawing or playing with dolls. Marcel and Edna usually volunteer to organize the set. The oldest boy in the house, twelve-year-old Marcel, has an exceptional gift for drawing. His younger SOS sisters get advices from him on how to colour their favourite cartoon character, Strawberry Barry.
The launch of the doll play is always dramatic. One has to lift the big doll basket and - flip it upside down! Nine-year-old Edna is gladly playing with the girls, but she's not very keen on collecting the dolls afterwards. All four girls agree that putting the dolls back in the basket is the most boring part of the play.
Dozen at the table
SOS mother Zehra has five older children who live at the SOS Youth Facility in Sarajevo. They visit their SOS family every Sunday when the home becomes the noisiest of all fifteen family houses at the village. The biggest problem for Zehra then is to find enough chairs to fit everyone at the table for lunch, so, to their great joy, the three princesses get to sit on the lap of their older siblings.
Goddess also likes to have tea parties in kindergarten (Photo: Senad Gubelic)
Once on such occasion, Zehra was rushing from the kitchen to the dining room and in confusion looked at one of her older boys while calling the name of another. "Moooom, this is Nenad, can't you see he's holding me!" little Goddess reprimanded her mom and immediately ran to her lap.
For privacy reasons, the names of the children were changed. Please note that the names of the three girls are the equivalent in English of the original Bosnian names.