On Friday 3rd May Stephen Connolly and Jonathan Day (on behalf of the parish council) and Mark Purcell (the Headmaster of St Clare’s school), visited the settlement of Hodovo in Bosnia Herzegovina.
The parish and school have supported this community for a number of years which includes a small settlement and a primary school. For Stephen and Jonathan this was the first visit to Bosnia and Hodovo and they were keen to report their experiences back to the parish council.
They were met by Marija, the Headmistress of the school and Kristina who acted as translator for the day. Kristina is an English teacher who teaches part-time at a number of the local schools including Hodovo.
The video and pictures document the day which included:
A tour of the small primary school in Hodovo. The school is segregated into two sections, one area for the Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and the other for the Catholic children (Bosnian Croats). Only the Croat section was visited which is desperately short of resources and has received help from the parish.
The local bakery which was built with the help of Fr Loughran’s previous parish, is owned by 6 local people, provides employment and provides a valuable local service.
Visits to other local schools including Crinici, Preng and the High School in Stolac. Crinici and Preng have received support from St Clare’s in the form of library books and assistance with connection to the municipal water supply.
A visit to the settlement of Hodovo which is made up of families that were internally displaced during the Bosnian war.
A visit to a family caring for a mentally handicapped 20 year old man who had become bed ridden over many years. The family received little or no help with caring for his needs.
During the visit, Kristina and Marija were presented with 2 copies of the Guild book in commemoration of their visit to Preston during Guild week. Some games equipment was also left for use in the Hodovo school.