For the children: SLTC personnel visit orphanage

Staff Sgt. Lisa M. Simpson
First published in
SFOR Informer#136, April 11, 2002

It is not always easy to get people to donate money, which is why the SFOR Liaison to Croatia team in Zagreb developed a traditional British pantomime to raise money for an orphanage. Despite having only 30 people to collect money from, the pantomime generated more than 200 Euros that was used to buy clothes for the children.

Zagreb - The mission to provide a safe and secure environment for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina got a little broader when SFOR personnel in Croatia visited children in an orphanage in Zagreb. They went bearing gifts: track suits and pajamas purchased with proceeds raised from a pantomime organized on behalf of the orphanage.
Dom za djecu, a home for orphans and children whose parents are unable to care for them, was selected because the international service members who comprise SLTC Zagreb wanted to do something to help the people. "We were looking for a way to help, the orphanage was chosen and it was decided to donate money to the children," said British Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer Gill Orchard.
Orchard came up with the idea of having a pantomime; a British theatrical entertainment based on a nursery tale. Orchard, who had directed pantomimes before, while aboard Navy ships, developed "Cinderalla and The Little Glass Slipper."
"I decided to bring a British institution (the pantomime) to an international setting. I set about writing and directing my own mini pantomime for the personnel at SLTC. A nominal sum was charged for the tickets which was later used to buy presents for the children at the orphanage. "
Community support
"It is quite difficult to collect money when you only have 30 people to collect from, " said Petty Officer Writer Andi Gay. Despite the small pool of donors, the pantomime generated 210 Euros. Croatian business owners from outside the SFOR compound also contributed to the SLTC collection effort. "Members of the team approached local shop keepers in Zagreb and we managed to obtain the track suits and pajamas at discounted prices, " Gay said.
Plans are being made to visit the orphanage again and Gay said that she is recruiting new volunteers to join in. "The pantomime, the donations and the visit were a huge success and everyone wants to go back and visit the children again."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: UK
Humanitarian Aid

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Photos: CPO Gillian Orchard

British soldiers visit children in Croatian orphanage.

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Sgt. Al Plenderleith plays with the children in the orphanage.