Мother’s Village – Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina
WAR DESTROYS EVERYTHING: Homes, Families, Hospitals, Business, Churches, Governments, Hearts and Hope
Even though the Bosnian War has ended, still today countless children are living one day at a time from the aftermath of the war. Many still without homes, losing one or both parents, living in orphanages. War changes everything, not only the innocent victims but the economy into the next generation. They have been stripped of their God-given right to live in peace, and in a very real way they, who are still living, are the greatest victims of the war, for in many ways their suffering has only just begun.
In 1995, immediately following the war in Bosnia, Father Slavko Barbaric of St. James Church in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, felt an overwhelming need to alleviate the pain in children left homeless as a result of the war. Father Slavko initiated the idea of organizing the formation of an orphanage called Mother’s Village in Medjugorje. For the past 27 years, Mother’s Hope Foundation has been reaching out to the child refugees of Bosnia whose lives have been shattered by war by donating funds to Mother’s Village. All overseas funds are handed directly by Mother’s Hope Foundation’s Executive Director Cathy Howe to Father Dragan Ruzic, Administrator at Mother’s Village. Father oversees the disbursement of the funds for the on-going needs of the orphans such as food, clothing, medical, etc. Cathy visits Mother’s Village orphanage each year to see firsthand how the funds donated are truly touching the lives of the children and creating a home for them.
Below are the photos of the renovation of the All Purpose Building Mother’s Hope funded. This building serves as a preschool, kindergarten, administrative offices, and chapel of Mother’s Village.
Building and Restoring Hope in a Tangible Way
In 1995 a multi-purpose building was constructed in Mother’s Village to house a kindergarten, offices for the orphanage and housing for a number of the orphans. The original building was approximately 12,800 square feet. Because of the immediate need for this building after the war and, also because of the limited funds available, the construction was of poor quality. In the spring of 2010, Cathy Howe visited Mother’s Village and witnessed firsthand the urgent need for a new multi-purpose building for the children. Today, the poor quality of the building is obvious in every way. The roof leaks, all of the windows need to be replaced and the kitchen is antiquated and needs to be updated. Because of the original construction of the exterior walls and the lack of insulation, the heat in the summer is unbearable and the cold in the winter comes from every side. The building is presently undersized, and additional space is desperately needed.
In 1995 Father Svetozar Kraljevic assumed the role of project manager regarding renovations to the multi-purpose building. He has solicited the opinion and professional help of three architectural firms regarding the renovation project and the addition of 2,595 square feet. They have divided the project into two phases: (1) replacing the roof and reconstruction of the exterior walls and windows, and (2) remodel the kitchen, install a new heating system and construction of a 2,595 square foot addition. Both phases of the project will cost approximately $250,000 for a total cost of $500,000.
Over the last several years, Father Svetozar has been able to raise $125,000 for the project. In June 2010, Mother’s Hope Foundation sent a $100,000 check to Mother’s Village in care of Father Svetozar to increase the available funds for Phase One to $225,000. In late summer 2010, Mother’s Village began construction on Phase One.