A daylong “Fair Play, Fair Childhood” charity basketball event in August 2013 will shine in the hearts and minds of children from around Bosnia and Herzegovina for a long time to come.
USAID organized the event with the Basketball Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as part of the Agency’s summer campaign to promote fair play and equal access to education for children of all ethnicities and with all levels of ability.
The event brought together members of the national basketball team and former members of the 1993 national team in a friendly game in Sarajevo as the current team headed off to compete in the European Basketball Championship in Slovenia.
“It was a small gesture from USAID’s side but a big thing for parents and children of this population. You made one happy day in their lives,” said Samir Mulić, a social worker from Dlan Zenica, a group that advocates equal rights and care for children with cerebral palsy.
More than 5,000 men, women and children from throughout the country attended the game, more attendees than usual for an event with people from both of the country's governmental entities (Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH).
“They said it was one of the most beautiful days of their lives,” said Naida Kurdija, who brought children from the Bjelave Orphanage in Sarajevo.
Working with local transportation companies, USAID ensured that children from all over the country—from Doboj, Gracanica, Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar, Kalesija, Travnik and Novi Travnik—were able to travel by bus to Skenderija Sports Hall to watch their team play. That same day, USAID also organized a Kids Carnival in downtown Sarajevo and a March for Children’s Education, which began at the carnival and ended at the game in the sports hall nearby.
“The meeting of children from different cities in one place is a wonderful gift, with several surprises for them in the square and in the hall. I saw many happy faces and those that I spoke to, confirmed that,” said Haris Causevic of NGO Altruista.
Last updated: January 12, 2015