Vermina of the "Sheep house" is one of the first two Bosnian SOS children. Her life story prior to her arrival at the village makes a person shiver and almost everyone cries. She's been a joyous happy girl for years now, but she still makes people cry... with the strings of her golden instrument.
Too shy not to cry
"Once we had some local authority reps visiting," explains Damir, the village educator. "Vermina was performing as part of the short children's programme. When she started to sing, I felt tears coming to my eyes. I thought, 'Brace yourself, it's embarrassing and people might think you're pulling an act'.
"Vermina's voice was stronger than the will and reason of this 2-meter-90-kilogram sportsman. "I couldn't help it, so I just let my tears go." Trying to avoid eye contact with the visitors, Damir saw all of them wiping away their tears. The twelve-year-old girl simply bowed and smiled shyly.
Dreams and reality
Parallel to her regular schooling, Vermina attends elementary music school, trains her voice and dreams of a singing career. Our nightingale is aware of the uncertainty and risks of the business and keeps a cool head.
"I wouldn't mind a career like my favorite Celine Dion, but I know there are many great voices out there. Just in case, I might study law besides music. Who knows, maybe I can brighten up gloomy court rooms one day," smiles the best singer among future lawyers.
The fan club
Her greatest support, most faithful audience, but also harshest critics are her SOS Children's Village brothers and sisters and her SOS mother Fikreta. "She's so well-organized, manages to be an excellent student in both schools, do her household chores and take computers and pottery at the social centre," says Fikreta of her girl.
"People ask me where my voice comes from," explains Vermina. "I tell them I honestly don't know. I just know I want to sing, I can sing and I will sing. Oh, and I tell them my family makes the best backup vocal group in the world," she closes making her SOS mother's eyes glossy.
So remember Vermina's name. Who knows, maybe in a few years she'll be your child's Celine Dion.