A strong community to support personal development

Milan, Sarajevo, Bosnia

“I grew up in a tight, supportive and caring community”, 21-year-old Milan says. “I learned from a young age that a strong community is made of strong individuals.”

One of those individuals who has marked Milan’s upbringing is his SOS mother Amira. He came to live with her at the SOS Children’s Village Sarajevo when he was three years old. Milan had a hard time fitting in his new family, and even tried to escape once. Through her devotion and unconditional love, Amira helped Milan overcome his fear and sadness, Milan recalls. “When I was in kindergarten and primary school, my favourite thing was the hug that my mum gave me after a long day. I was a happy child.”

Despite his initial struggles with school, Milan has grown into an ambitious and hard-working young man. “My mum spared no time or energy to help me”, he says. “I spent eight years of primary school studying together with her.”
After primary school, Milan enrolled in a hospitality school and graduated with the highest marks. In his spare time, he volunteered with NGOs and took on several part-time jobs. He is now studying economics at Sarajevo University, has developed two business plans he wants to realise in the future, and founded a youth organisation that aims to improve the skills and competences of young people who grew up in alternative care.

Milan is still very attached to his SOS family. “I am very close with my entire SOS family. If I didn’t have this, I don’t think I would have succeeded and moved forward.”

Go back to all stories