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Dreams do come true
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 Written by Antun Tešić

Dreams do come true

My name is Antun Tešić. I was born on 25th of March 1957 in Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After finishing secondary school, I couldn't find work in my area, so I went looking for a job elsewhere. I left the place of my birth and from 1978 I've been living in Zagreb, Croatia. I have worked very hard for a very long time and my dedication was well rewarded.

I believe that volunteerism - helping others, is something truly beautiful, and that is the reason for my coming to Rwanda. I hope to succeed in making my next goal come true... because, until now I have achieved all other important goals in my life.

Dreams do come true

In 2006, I started receiving notices and appeals on my company address to help children in Tanzania. I gladly accepted and sent what I could to help these children - something that was, in my opinion, very important. I was helping and because of this, I became quite involved. In the past, I had also tried to help others, but mostly in my own surroundings during and after the war. At that time, I was helping refugees, children, the poor...

Given that I was really working at my job non-stop, my help was mostly financial, as well as donating clothes and food, etc. But I always felt that I should do something else as well, but I had too many obligations. For so many years I was working at least fifteen hours a day without rest, seven days a week, including Sunday and holidays. I didn’t go on vacations because I thought that I couldn’t allow myself that. However, whenever I saw a documentary about African children, I felt bad because I wasn’t doing more. But, by the next day, I would forget because of my everyday obligations. And so the years went by.

Dreams do come true

I began feeling pressured by my work, and I was tired, but, because of debts, I couldn’t stop, not even for a moment. But, luckily, God knows how much we can take and never gives us more than that. With this in mind, I continued to patiently shoulder my burdens. Then, at a time when I was really fed up, He sent me an answer in the form of a great guy who helped not only himself but me as well. I rented my bar to this man and freed myself from everything. He was really happy with what he got and I was also really happy that I could stop and take a break from everything.

I changed my way of life, and I began to rest and recuperate. At the same time, my long lived desire to help the world's children was growing. I started thinking about it more seriously. A friend of mine, Ana, told me about her mission in India where she had gone several times to help abandoned children, of which there are many. That was my first option. Second was Rwanda... because of Fra Ivica Perić, a man of my own roots who was doing work there. I don’t know why but that was crucial in making my decision where to go.

Dreams do come true

I read about what he was doing and I came to a final decision. I saw on their web page that they were looking for people with certain skills to help but I didn’t quite fit into that. Nevertheless, I sent a request to talk on the phone and asked him to listen to me, so that I could explain that I would be useful, although I might not have the exact skills they need. That was my inner voice speaking, telling me to fulfill my long held desire to go to Rwanda and help.

And I was overjoyed when I received an affirmative answer, without too many questions from Fra Ivica. He accepted and offered his help in obtaining my visa and everything else. He referred me to Maja Sajler from Osijek who also helped a lot. It just so happened that Ivica was coming to Bosnia about this time and he invited me to visit him. I gladly accepted. So I met his family, his mother, sisters, brothers, their children and friends. There was a celebration of baptism for Fra Ivica’s great niece. It’s hard to describe the event, you have to experience it. No one has soul and hospitality like Bosnians. They are amazing people.

Dreams do come true

I returned to Zagreb, made my final preparations and set off on the journey of my dreams. It took me eighteen hours to get to Kigali, Rwanda and the time seemed to be passing really slowly. I wanted to get to my destination as soon as possible... to the country I’d only heard of but had been thinking so much about. So I finally arrived and I am absolutely thrilled with everything I’ve seen so far. I’m so happy that I made this journey. I wanted to share my first impressions publicly so that more people might become interested in this mission and contribute to the noble efforts of Fra Ivica, who is dedicated to improving the quality of life of these wonderful children of Rwanda.

I’m slowly becoming accustomed to my new surrounding, to meeting new people and I sincerely hope that I am able to help by contributing to this community... And by doing so; my greatest dream will come true.

Translated by Andjelka Fitz
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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