My Life in the IDP Camp
My manes are Srdjan Miladin and this is my story of how I inspired other young Serbians to follow their dreams.
Having been born at a time when my country was experiencing civil war, I didn’t get the opportunity to have better education. Yet still, I managed to finish my high school level when sanity resumed in my country. After that, I never proceeded with my education since there was little support offered. However, I was lucky enough to get a job with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), an international NGO working in my country to support those afflicted by the war.
I managed to get the position of an IDP care provider. After undergoing training I got involved with helping my people resolve most of their problems that they were experiencing in the camps. It was quiet challenging because most of them had been afflicted adversely and some even traumatized by what had happened. However, much I did according to my job description; I still felt that there was much which needed to be done.
Most of the youths for instance, had lost hope and there was animosity among various ethnic groups in the camp. This always made me feel that a means of forgiveness and reconciliation was needed failure t which further unrest would result later. But there was little I could do.
Soccer For Peace
One day, while strolling in the camp, I met a group of young boys playing football. Most of them were below 13 year of age. They seemed to be free among themselves though they belonged to different ethnic groups; that when I realized that I could use football as a means of encouraging reconciliation among the different ethnic groups.
That evening, I spent most of the time coming up with a proposal to set up a football club as part of the recreational activities in the camp. This was the proposal that I was to submit to my employers. By morning, I was not through and it took me two more days to have it done. During that time, I had also made several inquiries and I knew that my decision was not a bad one.
Sanity At Last
When I submitted the proposal to my employers, they were cynical about it at first and thus it took me time to convince them. They then decided to remake the proposal and send it to the headquarter office in the city.
The whole process took three months to get a nod. During this time, I was positive that it would go through and I had already formed a club and was training them the team.
After the proposal was approved, my club benefited by having sponsorship and thus was able to afford most of the football kit and other equipment that were needed. Within two years, the club had grown strong and attracted most youth from different groups and this helped greatly in my peace mission.
I’m glad that the club still exists today and that some of the team players have had an opportunity to play with other big clubs in the country as well as for the national team.