I greet you all very much, I thank Severina for guiding us through this program and my colleagues for their wonderful words. I am very glad to be here today with all of you.
And I just have to say how proud I am of Severina and how glad I am to have the opportunity to work with her, to share the activist struggle and zeal for social change, thank you Seve!
My name is Doria Jukić, I work as a social worker in a safe house for victims of domestic violence, and as a member of the board of the Desa and Jerko Baković fund, I participated in deciding on the awarding of scholarships. As you have already heard, the number of applications was high and the decision process was difficult, not because of the stories but because of the fact how great the need is. Which is realistic, if we consider the times in which we live. Speaking from the position of a person employed in that sometimes ugly and sometimes beautiful social welfare system, which represents in some way the state’s care for us, I am terribly glad that different and alternative forms of support and care are being developed. And those who come from the society itself and the community itself. And that, at the will and engagement of people who wanted to make a difference for the future of children.
A person dear to me asked me to start this speech with a thought, from a woman who dealt with people and culture – Margaret Mead. The thought is based on a situation where researchers found a very old human bone that had healed. This would mean that once in prehistory, one person was injured and was not left behind, but another person, if not more, tried to help him, to heal and recover. Based on this, she concluded the following: when people started caring for each other, then we became a community.
With these words, I would continue to address everyone present, especially to you dear team – children and young people. This scholarship means that you are supported by a whole series of donors, a whole series of organizations and institutions, where the experts we cooperate work. That community is there for you and you are not alone. Together, we contribute to building a solidary society in which we want to support each of you to realize your wishes and potential.
It is important for us to emphasize that we see and hear you and that in the sea of challenges you have encountered so far and will encounter in the future. We want to send you a message that it can be different. It is clear to me that I repeat words like “together” and “cooperation” a lot. I am aware that there is mistrust towards the system, towards “the social system”, but here I stand in front of you full of hope that it is possible to build some other worlds, systems that complement each other, like this story that was started by Desa and Jerko, systems that are based on honesty, camaraderie, not patronizing support but support that implies dialogue and trust.
Parents and guardians, as a social worker I see what it means and how challenging it can be to raise children and young people “under a magnifying glass”, and this is how we send you a message that we are reaching out to each other, that as a society and as a community we share the responsibility of caring for children. That care will never be shared equally, I don’t want to say something that doesn’t fit. But I think it’s important to make people aware that everyone together, everyone in their own way, possibilities and opportunities, with maximum will and engagement, can provide something that will shape the future of our children.
Children and young people, we want to send you a message that with financial support and other types of support – you can dream, trust yourself and your community that they are there for you, and that you use everything that is currently available to you to achieve your wishes and dreams.
This does not mean that you have to be the best and the best, there is no set story, and there is no ideal or perfect. Have your own stories and your own adventures, with room to make mistakes and learn from those experiences. This cooperation, along with psychological support and material support, gives you encouragement and security to look for opportunities, to learn and to develop, and to have the possibility to make a change – be it small or big, it is not up to us to judge. All of us here are your fans, coaches, and mentors – we sit on your bench, and play with you and for you.
A new period is starting, school is starting, and with it worries and laughter, obligations, and socializing, tests, and trips… I wish you a lot of luck, a lot of motivation, and the will to start new successes. No matter how much school or parents or guardians make you angry – remember that it’s okay, you have the right to be angry, you have the right to be happy, you have the right to be who you are, to be both the best and the worst. But I want you to have yourself, and when it’s difficult to know that you are not alone in this, that you have someone to turn to, that the whole village stands behind you and I hope that one day you will have the opportunity when you are strong, that you will be there and for others. To be good friends, to help others, and to react to injustice when you see it, to make this society a better place for all of us together.
If you want to support children in their development and education, you can donate in a few clicks at the bottom of the page. Every euro means a lot.
More information about the Desa & Jerko Baković Fund: https://solidarna.hr/desa-i-jerko-bakovic-fund/?lang=en