Although it is sometimes easy to become frustrated by the divisive politics here, the enthusiasm and optimism of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s children never fail to give me a jolt of energy and remind me of the importance of our efforts to help build a stable and prosperous future here.
Visiting the annual Kid’s Festival at Sarajevo’s Zetra Olympic Complex last weekend offered me a chance to see literally thousands of children having fun and enjoying each other’s company. Along with my wife, Danuta, and our two daughters, we had a chance to attend the festival and meet the event’s director, Susanne Prahl, as well as Doris Pack, chair of the European Parliament’s Board for Culture, Education, and Youth.
Kid’s Fest is an event designed purely and simply to allow children from across Bosnia and Herzegovina to come together to have fun. Unfortunately, too many families here must struggle to provide chances for their kids to have fun like this. That’s because life remains difficult for many citizens, especially those who were displaced by the war or suffered the loss of a loved one. That’s why I really like Kid’s Fest. Children from around the country come to Sarajevo, where they spend the day learning, playing, and just having fun … together.
The U.S. Embassy hosted spelling bees and a baseball demonstration at the festival to give the kids a small glimpse at classic pastimes for young Americans. One of our U.S. Marine Corps guards also put his artistic talents to work by painting superhero murals on the walls outside of Kid’s Fest. In addition, the Phoenix Boys Choir sang at both the opening parade and at the festival.
Sarajevo is a beautiful city, especially when it’s filled with so many laughing, smiling children. I salute the organizers of Kid’s Fest for their efforts to bring so many children together at this event. Let’s hope we can all work together to give kids across Bosnia and Herzegovina more opportunities to have fun, safe, and happy childhoods every day of the year.