Bosnia and Herzegovina: In 1999 Leila Kostic took a first step to a Waldorf Kindergarten by opening a playgroup, including 5-10 children. Since some of the children come from Muslim families and others form Christian families, the annual festivals of both religions are being celebrated in her kindergarten. In doing so the children learn something, which has been so profoundly appalled during the war in the 1990’s: appreciation for the other belief.
The war in what is today Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-95) made Leila Kostic flee with her children, first to Zagreb and finally to Kassel (Germany). Even before the war she knew about Waldorf Education and always cherished her dream to one day found a Waldorf Kindergarten in Sarajevo. Even though she was far away from home during her stay in Kassel, she was able to add an important step to her goal: a teachers training in Waldorf Education.
In 1999 Leila Kostic returned to Sarajevo and founded a playgroup in the following months, which eventually lead to a regular kindergarten. The war had left its marks everywhere and thus it was of utmost importance to be proactive, in order to foster the reconciling elements amongst the population. For Leila Kostic, the children represent this aspect and they receive loving care and security from her. The collective awareness of the Cycle of the Year, the celebration of Christian and Muslim festivals, provides the children with a regular rhythm, which they so desperately need.
Every day between 7:30 am und 5:30 pm the children are being taken care of by Leila Kostic and her three colleagues. During the day a variety of possibilities are available to the children. Especially artistic activities have a special importance. Already shortly after the opening of the playgroup it became clear to Leila Kostic, what an important impact art can have for the deeply wounded souls of the children and how it helps to overcome separating aspects.
Around the kindergarten a community of parents has evolved, which stands behind it and supports it financially. The initiative and its environment can thus partially cover the running costs. In order to cover the complete costs, the kindergarten remains dependant on donations.