Most children’s artworks show barbed wire which has not yet been removed from the 133 kilometres of border between the two countries.
“People flee in fear, in the hope of finding a better life in developed European countries. But these developed countries are hampering their travels in a variety of ways, for example, by placing barbed wires, doing everything they can to avoid the refugees. I understand these states, but they don’t have to show it in such a rough and cruel way.” These words were written by Ivana, an eighth-grade pupil of the Gustav Krklec Elementary School in Maruševec in Varaždin County, who described, together with her peers, the impressions on refugees who passed through Croatia two years ago and crossed the border with Slovenia, reports Večernji List on December 2, 2017.
The municipality of Maruševec and the Slovenian municipality of Rogatec joined forces in a 10,000 euro EU project “Causes, Effects and Consequences of Migrant Wave on the EU and the Role of Citizens”. People have expressed their opinions on this topic, which is, once again, being discussed in the Varaždin region since it is expected that some of about a hundred refugees who will be transferred to Croatia by the end of the year could be accommodated in the northern part of the country.
The project has drawn interest from the locals, and the children approached the topic in their own way. “Some countries behave towards migrants like they’re animals. Although, on the one hand, I understand them because they fear that could launch terrorist attacks. Still, I am happy to live in a country full of compassion towards migrants. I do not respect the US president who doesn’t allow any migrants to enter his country,” wrote Doris, while Viktorija believes that a large number of refugees want to go to Germany because they think they will get a job there and continue to live normally.
“This is not so. I guess most people will get a job, but not everyone. There are too many people, and I don’t believe there is a job for everyone. This problem has also appeared in Croatia. We all know that Croatia has a large number of unemployed [people] who are trying to find a job. In a way, I don’t think it is fair for refugees to get a job, instead of a Croat who has been waiting for that job for a long time,” she wrote.
“I hope that the responsible world institutions and officials in these positions will recognise the problem and respond as soon as possible to help these people find their peace and a new home. I do not mean villas and expensive cars, but a small and warm home, the laughter of children, and peace. World leaders, ask yourselves: is the little man really asking for much,” wrote Fran. His classmate Luka thinks that only old people, women and children should flee from war, while healthy, adult men should fight for their country.
The students also drew drawings. Most of them show the barbed wire which is still lying on the 133 kilometres of border between Slovenia and Croatia, put there by the Slovenian government two years ago in order to stop the masses of migrants who were allegedly thinking about crossing the border illegally. So far, there has not been a single case in which that barbed wire successfully managed to stop anyone who really wanted to cross the border.