Gorazde Primary School
The philosophy of Bosnia’s parents is simple: they send their children to school where they have to learn, behave, and be respectful to adults and peers. Parents expect teachers to be in charge at school, and they have a lot of respect for them. They expect their children to work hard and learn and emphasise the importance of academic achievement on influencing their future.
In 2012, seventeen former comrades of 1RGBW returned to Goražde, Eastern Bosnia, to replace the memorials stones to their fallen comrades. On the last day of this visit the group were invited to the local primary school and were surprised by the children singing them a song in Bosnian, thanking the British Army for saving their parents and grandparents.
Moved and inspired by this gesture, Maurice Evlyn-Bufton, one of the group and a Captain in 1RGBW in 1994, asked the school’s headmistress what could be done to help.
From this discussion was born a commitment to establish an English teaching centre and to refurbish their playing field, both in memory of their fallen comrades and as an investment that would benefit the future generations of Goražde, the Bosnian town the soldiers of 1RGBW had defended many years before.
Today, GCF Bosnia has achieved this. After various fundraising activities, including the running of a marathon in Bosnia and a drinks reception in London, as well as your very generous donations, a total of £28,000 was raised. Last year saw the construction of a brand-new English teaching centre and the school's battle-scarred playground was turned into an all-purpose astro-turf for the children to play sports on. Memorial plaques in remembrance of the fallen comrades are currently under construction.
Next, GCF Bosnia plans to raise a further £20,000 to fund the construction of a fully-equipped chemistry and biology classroom for the school. These funds will come from a planned 100km cycle ride through Bosnia, as well as the proceeds from the sale of Maurice Evlyn-Bufton's new book 'No Place to Hide', which will be published later this year.
The new English Language Centre
I am in the privileged position of being able to align my personal charitable interests with the benevolent effort of my business.
We have set ourselves quantifiable and achievable targets for 2017, and as a business we seek to identify a significant challenge which will test us individually and as a team to raise funds for GCF Bosnia.
Thanks to GCF Bosnia's strong support, my students have been able to make great progress in their English learning process. Books and teaching materials offered by our English friends helped all of us to teach and learn in far better conditions. We are so grateful for such a generous gift and hope to have a good cooperation in the future
- Zahida Alic,
at Gorazde Primary School
- Maurice Evlyn-Bufton,
of Armstrong Wolfe