AP PHOTOS: Children brave the cold in makeshift Bosnian camp
VELIKA KADUSA, Bosnia-Herzegovina AP] — Their toys shine brightly on the muddy fields and their cries fill the air. Their nighttime coughs are becoming more frequent.
Dozens upon dozens of children, from babies as young as six months old to teenagers in their twenties, have set up camp with their families in northwestern Bosnia to wait for their chance to cross the Croatian border to move on to Western Europe.
On a cold morning, you could see toddlers clinging onto their toys in a field with tents. While some children wandered out, others helped their families with food and water.
The smallest ones have likely been on the road since their birth. Many migrants spend many years traveling from one country to the next, while women often give birth in camps.
People fleeing poverty and violence in the Middle East and Africa are motivated by the hope for better futures for their families.
Most of the children in the camp were playing, as it should be.
A little girl in a winter coat and pink woolen cap pulled a pink toy cart while a larger, more mature girl hugged her gray toy dog. The boys played marbles and ran about joyfully despite all the unknowns ahead.
Migrants established the camp several weeks back to be close to Croatia, a member of the European Union. Although there is no running water, electricity, or lavatories in the camp, the residents refuse to travel to organized camps that are several kilometers away.
Aid groups are especially concerned about children who remain outside in the cold without proper facilities. Doctors say that many have developed symptoms such as sore throats and other cold symptoms, as well skin problems.
” Most children need to see a doctor.” Ismet Sabic is a medical worker for the humanitarian organization SOS Balkanroute, which has been providing assistance to migrants in the camp.
Enver Hfuric, another member of the SOS group, said that the situation could worsen as children continue to sleep out in the open.
“Here, in Bosnia, winters can be very cold,” he stated.
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