My name is Milos Bulatovic, I studied Psychology at the University of Montenegro, Faculty of Philosophy, in Niksic. I was a volunteer at the Konik Camp mobile unit for over three years, where I would go to the camp once a week and interact with the children. The Konik Camp activities were made possible by REE funding.
My task at the Konik Camp was to improve the children’s literacy and writing skills. I did this by helping them with their homework. Most of the children are in the lower levels of primary school. Typically when the children arrive, I am already there, I sit down with them and we go over their homework individually, making sure they can complete it.
I have seen many changes in the kids since I began my volunteering. At first the children were naturally very shy, but they also lacked a bit of communication and social interaction skills with others. I am happy to say that throughout the years I saw not only their literacy skills improve, them being able to do their homework more independently, but also their social skills became much better. This means we were able to communicate with less barriers: the kids were not as shy as before and they were able to speak freely.
Also, I led another workshop at Konik, with upper primary school pupils (8th – 9th grade) which worked towards improving the older kids’ social skills. This workshop was funded by the Red Cross. In regard to the older students, I noticed their social skills improved as well and they were able to express their opinions more freely, as we discussed different topics. The last topic we covered for example, was violence on the internet.
A big positive change that the Roma students have told me about, is their ability to have better connections with the other children from mainstream schools. They have told me that they are able to make friendships with children from other communities, play together and speak the Montenegrin language.