From the Point of View of… Leila Prnjavorac

“Though there was a war, these were also some of the most valuable months of my life; what I saw, showed me how kind and compassionate people are – everyone shared whatever they could and they would never let us leave with empty hands. When there is so much uncertainty and fear, and no one has anything anymore, everything changes; there is no more social status, money doesn’t make a difference – everyone becomes equal and everyone wants to survive the day. What you share is love and hope, and the desire to give and to give back.”


“And that is what makes life to precious, you can lose everything, but you can get it all back – just in a different package. It is very degrading to be told that you belong to a group that needs to be cleansed, and it is a very valuable realization that you are worthy, after all. Despite all that has happened to me, and also thanks to all that has happened to me, life is precious. And though, for a long time, I went through life safe in the knowledge that I have my own back, I have learned that it is just as valuable to receive. Provided this is done on the basis of equality – and not on the basis of the giver being superior. No one chooses where they are born, things happen to us and no one is perfect. But everyone can try to make a new start, and learning to receive will help you circle back to who you are, which will make you stronger.”

Stephanie Dijkstra
2020 Spring

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