Marija Božić, coordinator at Miksaliste.
Here at Miksalište, every week differs from the last – just as we think we’ve got into some type of routine, the situation has stabilized, and there will be no surprises, there is alway a twist and something new.
In November 2016, when I started working with Refugee Aid Miksalište, the situation compared to then and now are completely different. We survived the unwelcoming, harsh winter, then welcomed by the warmth of March sun, shining away the brutal images that across the world and here in Serbia, witnessed.
New people are still arriving daily. New faces bring new stories, and new hope-its unbelievably hard to hear out some these stories, and some are just never repeated. But here in Miksalište there is no room for sadness! The refugees here mostly carry very positive energy with them. The situation they are already living through is extremely tough, but their energy shows how strong and unbreakable they are. Through laugh and smiles, song and dance – that’s something on the daily that is able to be witnessed.
What have I learned in the past five months? That you, yourself must be powerful and never allow anything to destroy your life. Life is unpredictable, and extremely cruel, and we don’t get to pick and choose where we would like to be born and to grow up. Unfortunately, that is the burden that may end up being carried throughout our life.
What do I predict for the future – nothing good. Walls can only be made bigger and border widened and harder to cross. War and conflicts will never end. Myself as and individual may not have a lot of say, but there is one thing I can do. This is where I must start. Kind words, understanding, empathy, love. That what I have, I can spread to others that truly do need it. A human is a human, from one side of the Meridian to the other, as stated in a poem. Within all nation-states, it is his or her unalienable right as a human being-to live free and safe, to go to school and work, and contribute to the society that they live in. Don’t we all deserve a chance to have that, right?
Marija has been working as coordinator at Miksalište from November 2016. Today, while she takes breaks from her studies, she comes at Miksalište to teach Serbian. Marija studies Comparative Literature and Literary Theory on Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade. She became everyone’s favourite teacher because of her positive energy and kindness.