Cajnice: the future belongs to the children

1Lt. Michele Cortese
First published in
SFOR Informer#159, March 6, 2003

On Feb. 19, 2003 a ceremony took place to inaugurate a new heating system for the primary school in the little mountainous town of Cajnice. The Italian CIMIC (Civil-Military Co-operation) Unit planned and oversaw the whole project. European Union provided the funds, which amounted to about 31,000 Euros.

Cajnice - "The future of this community is in the hands of the new generations. As long as the will of building a better future exists it will be possible to implement it. I'm telling you this as the Commander of the German Italian Battle Group and as a father: our aid to these children will last forever." Those sentences was the meaningful message given by Col. Marcello Bellacicco at the inauguration of the new heating system for the primary school of Cajnice, a small mountainous municipality at the very East of the Republika Srpska.
A new power station
After eleven years the white smoke turns up again from the chimney flue of the power station, two metres high, of the primary school of Cajnice, bearing the name of 'Jovan Dudic', a local poet. The new power station, supplied with solid fuel, replaces the old one out of order since 1992. It will guarantee better life conditions for the 530 children who attend the school and have to cope with hardships and bad conditions, due to the freezing temperature.
This important improvement, planned and oversaw by the Italian CIMIC Unit (ICU), led by Lt. Col. Pierluigi Spagna, favours also the return of Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPREs) to Cajnice and the nearby villages. Among the attendees was Doctor Gianmatteo Arena, the representative of the European Union, which provided the funds. 'Instalater', a company from Srpsko Sarajevo, fulfilled the works for the refurbishment of the heating system. The director of the firm, Mr Slobodan Eolic, also attended the ceremony.
Ribbon cutting
After the ritual 'ribbon cutting', Bellacicco, accompanied by the vice-director of the school, Mr. Gojko Vranes, first visited the room of the new heating system and then went to the school gymnasium where the students thanked him by singing a sweet song. The Mayor of the municipality, Mister Dusko Kornajck, thanked the Italian soldiers for all the aid received. Among the attendees was the representative of the local orthodox religious community, Aleksandar Topalovic, who thanked the Commander and the soldiers of the Italian Contingent by giving some holy icons as a present.
Over six years, under SFOR guidance, ICU has performed many important public tasks such as the reconstruction of the Law Faculty in Sarajevo (in co-operation with the late French CIMIC Unit), primary and secondary schools in Kalinovik, Mokro, Olovo, Pale, Podvitez, Rudo, and roads in the areas of Gorazde and Rogatica. Those operations were supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' programme for the return of the DPREs to their pre-war homes.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Italy

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Photos: WO1 Benedetto Savarino

The Commander of the German Italian BG, Col. Marcello Bellacicco cuts the ribbon together with the Mayor of Cajnice, Mr. Dusko Kornjack.

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"Our help for these children will last forever. I'm telling you these words as a Commander and as a father," said Col. Marcello Bellacicco.

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A pupil holds the ribbon for the inauguration.