Dennis and Dionne Newton

Dennis and Dionne Newton
Dennis & Dionne Newton

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Already?

This week will mark 4 months into our mission. Last week we also received a tentative "release date" in 2018... it seems so far away, yet to think that we have already finished nearly 1/4 of our missionary service is a little hard to believe. As I look back over the past four months it is thrilling to see how much we have already done and to consider the future and what it holds for humanitarian work here in Bosnia. We have now submitted our final project for 2016. This is the list of projects we were able to submit and have approved in the short time we've been here:

Water Projects:

  • Sapna Schools - replace toilets, pipes and sinks
  • Domaljevac Primary School - replace a complete septic tank and associated pipes
  • Zivinice High School - replace toilets, pipes, tile and sinks in 6 school bathrooms
  • Vlasenica Schools - replace 3km of water pipe to supply water to a rural school
Area Projects:
  • Rijeka Homeless Project - provide blankets and personal care kits to 30 homeless persons
  • Mala Sirena - provide tablets and software for communication and educational purposes for individuals with disabilities
  • Los Rosales - provide kitchen appliances, cabinets and flooring to complete their food production vocational training center for individuals with disabilities
As Denny discussed in our last blog post, we have chosen to focus our Area Projects on improving the quality of life for those with disabilities. Our most recently approved project continues along that path. Los Rosales is a center in Mostar, BiH that serves about 140 individuals with disabilities in a variety of programs. They have an integrated kindergarten providing care for children 2-6 with and without disabilities and a primary school that serves children in grades 1-9 and includes an autism center as well as a sensory integration room and a relaxation room. All students are fed breakfast and lunch each day and are able to attend the school and receive all meals and necessary services such as occupational, speech or physical therapy free of charge.
High school students

Special class for those with only physical disabilities

Art therapy - making Christmas decorations

Ready for the tree!

Playing in the sensory integration room

 Additionally, they also have 5 vocational training programs established for adults. They offer workshops in woodworking, clay and ceramics, textiles (sewing, knitting, jewelry making), picture framing and horticulture. They have had great success with these programs and even have a small shop in the Old Town tourist area of Mostar that sells their handicrafts. These workshops have also provided some of their students with the skills to find employment in the community.

They are very engaged in their work!

She is knitting a scarf to be sold in the Old Town shop

Jewelry ready to go to the shop

Some of their handiwork

This is the kitchen that they are currently using to
prepare meals for 140 students twice a day
This is their current "cafeteria" that only seats 12 people 
Our cooperative project with Los Rosales is an expansion of their vocational training program. Their current kitchen is very small and inadequate and their dining area can only accommodate 12 students at once. They rotate the students in and out all day long. Their vision is to create a cafeteria to prepare and serve meals where the food production can become part of the vocational training for adults in their program to learn to cook, clean and serve. Ultimately, they will open a small community restaurant as part of this project. With the help of a Norwegian NGO they were able to complete the remodeling of the building and have also received a grant for a greenhouse which will provide additional vocational training as well as fresh vegetables to be used in the cafeteria. LDS Charities will provide important equipment such as the freezer, convection oven, and industrial dishwasher to complete the project. This is a perfect example of LDS Charities goal of promoting self-reliance and sustainability, not just "giving things" away. 

The new "cafeteria" completed by a Norwegian NGO
We love this floor!

The area that we will help transform into an industrial kitchen. 

Education, awareness and inclusion are life changing for all. Los Rosales is making great strides in improving the lives of these most vulnerable people and these projects will enable them to continue to pursue their goals. 

We are looking forward to starting our humanitarian project plan for 2017 and feel very blessed to have been given stewardship over Bosnia. We hope that we can make a small difference in the lives of those God leads us to on this journey. 

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