“Am I yours now?”
Alemadina spent three years by herself in the biggest orphanage in Bosnia & Herzegovina, without any of the love or attention she needed to feel safe, let alone happy. Now she has a new mum to care for her, and to let her know that she belongs.
Like most of the children in the orphanage where she lived, Alemadina was not an orphan. Her mother had done her best to care for her but with no partner, no income and no support, eventually she made the heart-breaking decision to take her daughter to the institution. Alemadina was only five years old then. She was left to fend for herself, alongside nearly 100 other children, boys and girls, many much older than she was. Every night she slept in a big dormitory. She went to bed without a story or even a hug. She had nothing and no one to call her own.
“For Alemadina, we found Rada, an experienced, warm and caring foster mother with a grown-up family of her own.”
Hope and Homes for Children is working with the local authorities in Bosnia to close the orphanage where Alemadina lived by finding the right, safe and loving family alternative for every child. For Alemadina, we found Rada, an experienced, warm and caring foster mother with a grown-up family of her own.
“Alemadina was very quiet and withdrawn for the first few months after she came to live with me,” Rada remembers. “Then one day she asked me, ‘Am I yours now?’ ‘Yes, you are mine,’ I replied and from that moment on, everything changed.”
“I feel nice with my foster mother… she is kind, nice, smiling, always in a good mood.”
Today Alemadina has blossomed into a happy, confident little girl who likes to play with her friends in the neighbourhood and read books. “I feel nice with my foster mother,” she tells us, “she is kind, nice, smiling, always in a good mood.”
For legal reasons, Alemadina can’t be reunited with her original family or adopted but she will stay with Rada until she is old enough, and ready, to make her own way in the world.
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