Božidar Mihajlović (Adra BIH COUNTRY DIRECTOR)
Invasion of love? Yes. Twenty young people decided to spread love and kindness among the citizens of Tuzla. Although the Balkan war raged almost three decades ago, hate and separation between different ethnic groups are still present.
“Every year we do invasion of love to a different city in Bosnia. In the past, there were horrible invasions to our towns. Invasions that separated people and built walls among them. Our invasion is a different kind of invasion. We want to provide hope and restore faith in our shared humanity by spreading love and kindness.” – Božidar Mihajlović, Director of ADRA.
Božidar told us that now when the invasion of love has ended, he stills receives messages of support from citizens and questions about how to join ADRA.
Young people “invaded” Tuzla on 20th June. On the first working day, they visited the First Aid ambulance, the Fire Department, the Communal Service and three police stations. They expressed their thankfulness for their dedicated service with boxes of gratitude. Later they went to the big parking lot where they washed the windshields and left the “love-card”, saying: “Your windshield was dirty, so we decided to wash it and expand your view.” In the afternoon, they brought six packages of humanitarian aid to families struggling with poverty.
On the second day, the “invaders” cleaned the city picnic area Ilinčica where there was a lot of garbage and even smaller illegal landfills. Diligent volunteers collected more than 50 bags of waste and, with their work, brought smiles to the faces of surprised passers-by. During a scorching afternoon, the group went to the busy intersection and delivered cold drinks to thirsty drivers.
On the third day, volunteers held a Health Bazaar in the largest shopping centre in the city. The bazaar offered the following free check-ups: weight control, visceral fat, blood pressure measurement, blood glucose, spirometry and blood oxygen testing, and two survey tests about the biological age and evaluation of the lifestyle. Volunteer provided a free back massage to interested citizens. At the end of the round, all users had a conversation with nutritionist Željana Kunos
On the fourth day, young people made the most significant impact on the city with many actions of love and kindness. First, in the morning, they motivated the citizens to stop smoking by giving them a healthy apple for a cigarette. They collected more than a hundred cigarettes. After that, in a flash action, they distributed a flower of love to women in bakeries, restaurants, banks and other institutions. In the afternoon, volunteers offered a free car wash in the churchyard. In the evening, volunteers went out to the city centre with their “ATM love machine”, which was a big attraction. Every child who inserted the card into the ATM received a gift. For several hours, children and parents constantly came for their free gifts.
On the last day, young people created a significant Invasion of Love flag with which they marched through the city and finally hung it on one of the city overpasses. Hundreds of drivers expressed their gratitude and appreciation.