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Nadomak Sunca (At Home in the Sun), The "Children's Village"

Oprtalj, village landscape Nadomak Sunca window boys
Village (Oprtalj), before rebuilding In the early 1990's, war tore through regions that had been part of the country of Yugoslavia, bringing difficult times, and destroying many families. A small group of adults decided to form a community with and for children, in Oprtalj, Croatia, a medieval stone village that had been largely abandoned, but was safely out of the zones of conflict.

Girls hiking Boys on hike
There were only about 60 people in the village of Oprtalj before the Nadomak Sunca group arrived, and there were barely enough students in the local school for it to function. More children, many who had ended up alone as a result of the regional conflicts, made their way to the village.
Building together
Working together, with the help of the local and international communities, supporters who send funds, friends and volunteers, the adults and young people began to rebuild houses and families.
Help friends

House Family at dinner
Homes for one two, three, and now five families have been rebuilt. In each of the five families a couple-mother and father-care for 9-10 children, including a few of their own children by birth, and the rest who arrived without parents to make new homes, families, and friends here.
Young kids Boy and girl working together at table

Boy drawing Volleyball players
Tasks are shared, and so is fun, in and around the village. The school has been renewed, and there are soccer, volleyball and basketball games on the court next door. Nadomak Sunca works a farm on a hilltop nearby where vegetables are grown, and there are a few animals.
Older kids
The surrounding hills, forests, and fields, as well as the village are now a peaceful place to wander, work, play and dream, and young and older can thrive.
Boy playing violin

In their own words (from Nadomak Sunca)

For more information about the village, contact Arthur.
The war in the former Yugoslavia is over. The places where it raged will bear the marks of devastation for many years to come. Countless survivors have lost their bearings, have lost their roots, and yet they continue to live after the horrors come to an end. Thousands of children will be growing up without parents and many of them are living in pitiful conditions; they feel there is no future ahead of them.

Those children are in need of homes. They are in need of new families in whose care and love they can re-discover what it is to trust other people. They need to develop confidence in the future and in life itself... to learn to be children again: to be together with others, to play with one another, to go to school together, and to lead lives that have a certain degree of normalcy. This chance is offered to them in Oprtalj.

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