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PROJECT SEKA (KUCA SEKA)

Final Report
Recreational stay and psychological-pedagogic support for traumatized Women and Children in Project SEKA, Splitska, Brac, Summer 2000

Evaluation of the project/ participant´s feedback:
we are sure that all women and children of the five groups could recover during their stay in SEKA-house, that they got new energy and courage for their difficult everyday lives. Certainly, every group profited from their stay in a different way. We think that the description of our work with them (s.a.) shows what profit they took.
The participants´ feedback is an important indicator of the success of recreational stays as well.

We´ll quote a few comments from our guest-book, written by women and some of the older children, translated into English.

Splitska / Brac, 06.10.2000
Gabriele Müller
Leader of the project

Some comments, written in our "book of impressions" in summer 2000:

My dears!
This is my third stay in your wonderful house SEKA - full of love. Overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, your honest hospitality and the lovely experience of community, I had the wish, that a group of women and children from my town could experience all this. My wish came true.
Now I enjoy the pleasure and the happiness, which I notice in the eyes of my young friends and their mothers. Their laughing, exulting and their cheerfulness fills each corner in your house.
I also see you happy!!
But the happiness can't last so long. Soon we shall return into the "rough reality". Therefore I believe, that we shall keep these wonderful moments in our mind for our whole life.
But in spite of feeling here so very lovely and pleasant, I am waiting for my return to my town: I want to convince my friends, people with open hearts, but also those, who are not well-minded, that "good fairies" still exist. ...To all of them a big, big thank you for this summer recreation in the lovely Splitska.
We thank "Aunt " Marija and Fani that our stomachs were always full. We hug our Dubravka and Zeljana, as they taught our children to swim and cared so tenderly and sweetly about them, played with them and gave them so much warmth and love.
Our three benefactresses Gabi, Mirjana and Goga we give a kiss as huge as the mountains of Dinara (mountains near Knin).
We wish, wish, wish ... that all this should come true what they wish most."

Ankica Sesa, activist of the Women's group "Nada" (hope) from Knin

My most beloved, most lovely Gabi, Mirjana, Goga, Dubravka and Zeljana,
I thank you from my heart for this short but wonderful and unforgettable common time, which I enjoyed very much.
I thought, that my life was totally worthless, but here I understood, that also a worthless life you can turn into a happy one.
Deep in my soul I feel, that with your and god's help I can find out of this desperate situation and that everything will by okay, as I believe, that wealth doesn't mean, to have food and money but freedom and love.
My dear Gabi, with so much warmth in your eyes, which give me strength, with the tender smile of Goga, the loving, warm words from Zeljana, the security, which I feel from Mirjana and the comforting words of Dubravka, I believe that I can succeed in finding a way out of this life, that is entangled like a thorny wood.
But from this dark valley in my soul, as I feel, a way safely will lead me to happiness.
Here I experienced something ideal and I'm sure, that after all these days, which I spent with the children in your house, I will be more stable and not so desperate any more, not the children and not me.
I love you so very much and I've got so many advises and support from you.
I also won't forget my Marija, who cooked for us, and the sweet Fanica. I shall be happy to remember all of you and I wish you, that the happiness of the whole earth will be with you. Please write us.
Excuse my handwriting. Goodbye. Ciao!
Loving you very very much, Mara Stojak
To be invited together with my children is the greatest joy I have ever experienced. My children enjoyed here a paradise for body and soul and a free and pleasant life. My children felt here so safe! And they asked me, Mama, shall we write our aunts, after returning home?
I love you all very much. God save you

Mara Stojak, Knin

The last ten years of my life I have walked in darkness. I knew that somewhere must be a light, but I didn´t know where.
Then I came to SEKA-House, and I did not only find this light, but I found the place the sun comes from. Kuca SEKA is something special because of your kindness, your hospitality, your empathy, you, the "great women" Gabi, Mirjana, Goga, Natasa, Zeljana, Fani, and Marija. A very big thank you to you all. Keep following your way with your head up high, approaching our common aim. Due to your idea and your project I realized how invaluably gentle and loving women can be. I wish for your path to be golden. I love you all very much.

Binasa, Banja Luka

Kuca SEKA is such a wonderful place, one of the most beautiful places I´ve ever been at. I´m enthusiastic! Everything is wonderful! Especially the sea!
(here she drew many little hearts)
I don´t have words for it. Aunty Marija´s cooking deserves special praise.
I´ll miss you all: (a big heart with all the workers´names in it)
(little flowers and hearts)
big greetings from all my heart. Ciao!

Anja (11 years old, Banja Luka)

Kuca SEKA is a wonderful place. In this house I felt better than in my own house! Here I recovered physically and mentally. I thought I might lose 3-4 kilos of weight, but that didn´t work out with aunty Marija´s cooking. Maybe I even put on weight.
I love you all dearly and would like to thank you all very much.
Gabi, Zeljana, Mirjana, Goga, Fani, Natasa, Suzana and aunt Marija, I love you all very much.

A lot of greetings from Mirela (Banja Luka)

Splitska, 7/14/00
Even if we cannot hold on to the dewdrops glittering in the grass and to the bewitching smell of the flowers, we will not mourn, because we found strength in Kuca SEKA.
A big "thank you" to Gabi, Mirjana, Fani, Goga, Marija, Zeljana, Suzana, and Natasa
I love you!

Ljerka Stanic, Banja Luka

Splitska, Brac, 7/14/00
This sea, the sun, the beach...this wonderful smell, the wonderful view, the house...all this would not have helped us to recover, to relax physically and mentally.Every word from you, every look, every smile, every advice helped us to go our way. I´ll always remember you!
What remains in life are thoughts and memories...
Thank you Gabi, Zeljana, Natasa, Suzana, Mirjana, Goga, aunt Marija, and Fani

Sandra Kovacevic (20 years old, Banja Luka)

Splitska, 7/15/00
After ten years of uncertainty this was heaven to all of us who´ve been in Kuca SEKA. Again thank you for all you´ve done for us, wishing that good people will support kuka Seka and that other people will know as well what attentiveness and love without caring about nationality means. I want all the world to know about Kuca SEKA.
Thanks.

Jasminka Halolovic, Banja Luka

Today, one day before our return to Bosnia, to Banja Luka, to our house, where my son Denis and my husband Brane are waiting for me and my daughter, I´d like to write a few lines- write down my impressions about the stay here.
The first person from Kuca SEKA I met was Mirjana. We already met on the ferry where she asked me where I was from.
Me answering that I came from Banja Luka and her way of shaking my hand and introducing herself: that she was Mirjana from SEKA, and Gabi sent her to welcome us- this simplicity and spontaneity of our first encounter made me feel as if I came to visit old dear friends who I see for the fist time in my life.
Two weeks of being together in Brac in SEKA-House after ten years of fear and fight to survive passed by in a twinkling: Not having to think about whether there will be anything to cook the next day, not wondering whether I´ll ever will return to my job. Writing "thank you" and "best wishes" could never express everything I feel, because such a contact between women is new to me, and closer than anything I´ve ever experienced.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Mitrovic Azra and Jasmina, Banja Luka

Even if I can´t hear very well, there was no reason not to recover and have good talks with all of you. Kuca SEKA is a wonderful place full of warmness and tenderness. Here I found thanks to you a house full of love and empathy. My daughter Kristina and I are very thankful to "Vidra" in Banja Luka, that they sent us here to SEKA-House and made this unforgettable summer possible for us.

Yours, Ljiljana Smajic and Kristina

(two pressed flowers)- These flowers shall remind you of us! A kiss from Lili

I think I don´t have enough words to say thank you and to describe my feelings. For me, it´s a true miracle that there are people like you in kuka SEKA that help others and help each other. You helped me to recognize that people aren´t always the same and that there are always people I can openly talk to and I feel confortable with. Thank you for everything, for your loving attentiveness and your hospitality. I wish to you all a lot of luck and success in life.

In love, Nerma from Banja Luka

7/15/00 (drawings: many hearts and a palm tree)
Kuca SEKA is the most beautiful place I´ve ever been to. I want to say thank you for your warm welcome and all the joy you let us feel: Mira, Goga, Zeljana, Gabi, Fani, Natasa, and especially aunt Marija who cooks wonderful meals (I gained at least ten kilos.)
Thanks for everything, I hope you won´t forget me, I won´t forget you.

Jasmina Dzumhur (14 years old)

language, religion, nation, colour of skin
don´t matter if you are a woman.
A big thank you to all the wonderful women of Kuca SEKA

Splitska, 7/30/00, Zeljka Lesnjak, women´s shelter Zagreb

By Mubina (13 years old, from Visoko)

My dearest Zeljana, Marijana, Gabi, Mirjana, Goga, Suzana, Fani, Marija, I thank you for your hospitality and your tenderness towards us. I felt very well at Kuca SEKA. This is the most beautiful place I´ve seen. I´ll never forget the remembrance of all these wonderful moments we had together. I hope we will see each other again many times and that I will enjoy your company. I love you very, very much and wish you happiness and success in life.
This is the shortest I can possibly say and wish to you, there is so much more to say about your tenderness and warmness.
Especially I have to thank aunt Marija and Fani for the wonderful meals they cooked for us.
Lots of greetings to all of you, ciao.

To Kuca SEKA
My dear friends from Kuca SEKA.
Never before in my life I have experienced such love and tenderness. As I arrived, I thought I might be dreaming all this beauty, and I didn´t want to wake from this dream. You really are true women how magnanimous women should be. I´d like all women to feel this way, giving their love off to the others. I´d like to be able to support Kuca SEKA one day- financially and personally."

08/18/00 Muratovic Edina (now:Visoko)

Good-bye from Berina (14 years old)

My dearest Zeljana, Mirjana, Marijana, Goga, Gabi, Suzana, Fani and aunt Marija, I thank you especially for the nice time and your hospitality and naturally I thank you that I could come to SEKA-House.
I wish you a lot of success and luck for your work.
Unconciously, I once waited to get to know you better, and I´ll never forget this, because you are so loving and gentle to us.
I hope we see each other again and naturally I invite you to come and see us.
Kuca SEKA is like something from a fairy tale, and I had the happiest and most unexpected time of my life here. I hope that the waves have woken a part of my body and that it will happen again.
I´ll always mention that and tell the whole world: Kuca SEKA means all that: recovery, happiness, future, that all wishes come true and much much more.
I send you so many greetings...Kuca SEKA is the greatest!
I´d especially like to thank Fani and Marija for the spoiling and for the wonderful meals- they were delicious!
So much for now, I love you all

Berina, from Visoko

My dearest,
Mirjana, Gabi, Zeljana, Goga, and Marijana
I thank you very much for everything and especially for the warmth you gave us. Thanks for all those unforgettable moments we spent together. If there is heaven, then it´s here in Kuca SEKA, and if there are angels, then it´s you, altogether, but especially Mirjana and Gabi. Many thanks for the birthday party for my twins- we´ll always remember that. I hope we hear from each other and see each other in Visoko. You shall be our dear guests. Have success with your work and your fight for women´s rights, and a lot of greetings to our dearest cooks, especially aunt Marija, hopefully she´ll keep on cooking such delicious meals.
Thank you very much.

Suada, Berzad, and Berina from Visoko

I love Kuca SEKA! I love you Gabi, Goga, Mirjana, Marijana, Zeljana, Suzana, Marija, Fani! We felt wonderful here! I´ll never forget this and I`ll talk about you and about how you recieved us and made our wishes come true and about how happy we´ve been here for a long time. I feel so sorry having to say good-bye! I love you very much! All the best wishes for your life and your work!

Alija Subasic, from Visoko, 08/18/00

8/18/00
As we arrived at Kuca SEKA, I felt happy and relieved, I`ve forgotten all the violence I experienced. I don´t know how to describe it, as it is like taken from a fairy tale, something unforgettable.
First your smile and your eyes told me: This is happiness. As we got to know each other better, your attentiveness and understanding became unforgettable. It helped me so much for life and for the future.
I am so much fond of you that I want to stay in contact. I´d especially like to thank Zeljana, because she listened to me and supported me with her advice, like all of you did.
... I´ll never forget this, because it´s been the happiest time of my life... I´ll tell everybody I meet, and the photos are the proof. You are some strong women, stronger than anything in the world. Thanks for our being together, and I hope, we´ll go to the beach again some day and let the waves give us a massage... so much for now....bye.
(I could write so much more about it - maybe another time.)

Hedina, from Visoko

Kuca SEKA, 8/18/00
I thank you that you received us so warmly, I don´t know how to thank you for it, in the name of my children as well. I wish you all the best in life and luck for your work.
I must say, we can never pay that back.
Come and visit us in Visoko, that would help us a lot!
Time passed by in a twinkling and it´s very hard to say good-bye. Saying-goodbye is hard to all of us.
Loving greetings to all of you
thanks to Marija and Fani for the nice food
Have luck!

Magbula (Visoko)

(a poem)
everybody is fond of Kuca SEKA because she spoils us.
In the kitchen, Fani and Marija prepare meals for gourmets.
Mirjana, Goga and Gabi take care of the children to make everybody happy.
Many thanks to all of them, especially Zeljana, Vahida and Suzana for their patience.

Ramiza (Bolja buducnost)

We like Kuca SEKA very much and are very fond of all of you: Mirjana, Gabi, Goga, Marija, Fani, who cook so well, and Zeljana and Vahida, who went everyday to the beach with us. Who were so attentive and spoiled us that much. My dearest, it was nice and great with all of you.
It´s in our heart that you are so good, nice and warm-hearted. We thank you all and we will never forget you.

Ljilja, Dragana, and Marija (Bolja buducnost)

Kuca SEKA, 9/3/00
It was very nice to be here. I´m sorry to leave. We liked it so much here with Gabi, Mirjana, Goga, Vahida, Suzana and Zeljana, and with Marija and Fani who cook so greatly. Thanks for everything.

Zehra (Bolja buducnost)

For me it was very nice with all of you together, with Mirjana, Gabi, aunt Marija and Fani who cook so well and Zeljana and Vahida and Goga. I thank you all for everything. I´m very sorry we have to say good-bye now.Ciao.

Ajten (Bolja buducnost)

I thank you for your hospitality. You were wonderful!
A big thank you and a big kiss from

Andreysa and Suzana (Bolja buducnost)

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