By Katarina Zoric, IFRC
Although she’s been volunteering for more than 30 years, 70-year-old Senka Vuković is not yet tired of it. On the contrary, this retired teacher is full of life, very active and has a lot to offer to people around her.
“Volunteering is my lifestyle. Through it, I’ve experienced many happy as well as many sad moments and I’m grateful for all of them”, says Senka.
Her first contact with the Red Cross was in elementary school and she knew right away that one day she’d become a volunteer. She started volunteering part-time and became more and more engaged with helping others.
“I loved working with children the most. I was especially happy every time we had a chance to take kids from low income families to the seaside for summer holidays. Those children saw the sea for the first time and bringing a smile to their faces is still the most rewarding thing I can think of,” she says.
Senka experienced a lot of painful moments too. Most of them happened during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Memories of injured people, innocent victims and thousands who had to leave their homes and families are still vivid.
Because of this, she deeply understands people who are forced to leave their homes today. Together with her colleagues from the Red Cross of Bihac City in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Senka has spent the last 18 months helping migrants in Una-Sana Canton, especially those who are separated from their families.
“I understand how difficult it is for them and I try to help them to get in touch with their families. I talk with them, listen what they’re saying and sometimes all they need is to be heard,” she says.
Everything she has learned during her years of volunteering, Senka gladly shares with her younger colleagues.
“I’m giving them my wisdom and in return, they’re keeping me young”, she concludes with a smile.