The other side of Roma stories: Lejla Pandžić
Lejla is 16 years old. She is going to the high school MSŠ “Hazim Šabanović” in Visoko. This quiet girl, calm and modest, lives in a small place called Malo Čajno. As a good and exemplary student, she applied to the Association “Education Builds BiH” for a scholarship, and we were very happy to accept it.
About the school and the city where she lives
Lejla is extremely bright, mature and ambitious. She talked to us about her life and her dreams. She mostly remembers her childhood through fond memories. She mentions the less beautiful ones as a warning, so that we know how much what we call “children's” can hurt and stay with the person.
“I attended primary school in Visoko, where I also go to high school. School is very important to me. I know I have nothing without her. Children when they are small very often do not know the weight of what they say. There were both positive and negative experiences in elementary school. Not just to me. Peers knew how to be cruel and insulting. I've been through this and I know how hard it can be when someone makes fun of you. For now, in the high school I’m going to, all I have to say is positive. I was accepted and I have friends today. I live in a small town and I am very attached to my city. Mostly just for the neighborhood where I live. My family is here. ”
Unlike many of her peers, Lejla does not want to leave BiH. She's motivated enough to stay here. She would leave the country, she says, only if she could not find a job.
“If I achieve one of my goals in the future, which is to complete a sufficient level of education and find a job, I would stay. Not only in the state, but also in his city. I am most motivated to work and study by the fact that I am a Roma woman and by the fact that others have prejudices against us, which I will break. I want to prove first to myself that we Roma can achieve a lot in life like everyone else, that we want to have a normal life that includes employment, family, travel … Also, I want to prove that being a Roma woman is not the basis for any opinion already formed about me and should not have an impact on my future. I am a person, a man. That's the only thing that matters. “
Lejla is happy because she has the opportunity to go to school. She always emphasizes the importance of family in her life.
“Every day I think about how important my family is and how much I love my family. I am happy that we are all healthy, we have a roof over our heads and everything else will just come. They taught me to be good and honest, they taught me faith and true values and that is what makes a man a strong person. We did not differ from our non-Roma friends, except in that we celebrate St. George's Day. “
“I want to tell everyone not to look at the nation and religion and not to look at what others say about them. It is very important to have self-confidence and show it. You are no less valuable than others on any basis. I want to tell you to go towards your goal in life , to go to school, find a job and make a living as a good person. “