In Zrenjanin, in northern Serbia, the School Sisters run a hostel for 60 young schoolgirls from the villages in the surrounding area who – given the long journeys involved – could not otherwise travel to attend school each day in the local town. The Sisters also provide religious instruction in a number of different schools, work as parish choirmasters, and provide basic catechetical instruction to kindergarten children in three of the villages. One of the Sisters also runs the local Boy Scout/Girl Guide group.
Every year, during the summer holiday, Sister Cecilia organizes a summer camp for 60 young girls on the grounds of the residential hostel which would otherwise be empty during this time. It is the only Catholic holiday camp for girls in the area. Many of these girls come from very poor homes, and not a few of them are alone at home, since their parents have moved to the West to find work and support their families. In other cases, their parents are unemployed. Sister Cecilia tells us: “They are intelligent girls, but they are too poor to be able to develop their talents fully.”
With the help of teaching experts and some of the parents, the Sisters have worked out a very attractive holiday program in which the children can have fun, learn to cook and bake, do handicrafts, sing and pray together and also go on outings. At the same time, they can share their faith experiences and grow in their faith.
Naturally, there is a cost to providing the food and lodging for the girls and to pay for the handicraft materials and excursions. Most of the parents already have difficulties even providing their children with basic necessities for school and can do little to contribute to the cost of this holiday program.
The Sisters have turned to ACN for support, and we have promised them $5,800.
Will you help these Sisters continue to operate their Catholic summer camp for poor girls in Serbia? We are sure they will gratefully remember you in their prayers.
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