Women’s Refuge and Kindergarten in Bukovica, Tomislavgrad.

Franciscan Sisters’ project for a Women’s Refuge and Kindergarten in Bukovica, Tomislavgrad.

The Mayor of Tomislavgrad, Ivan Vukadin, donated 5,000 sq metres of land to the Franciscan Sisters in the hope that they could raise funds to build a shelter for socially deprived people.

Our charity donated €90,000 which paid for all the doors and windows, ensuring the building was protected from the cold winter.  The Centre is called “Mother Krispina” like a sister refuge in Medjugorje.  Later, another Foundation agreed to complete the project which cost £720,000.

The Refuge is fully operational and provides temporary shelter for pregnant, abused and homeless women. Part of the building is a Kindergarten for up to 30 protected children as well as locals.  Education is the central charism of the Franciscan Sisters who see the family as the nucleus of society.  However, they realise that modern day families are faced with many destructive forces.

They understand that alcohol, drugs, gambling, internet addiction and marital infidelity can lead to violent behaviour and mutual abuse of husband and wife.  The poor economic situation, especially in Bosnia Herzegovina where there is currently in excess of 50% unemployment, is an added “trigger” for escalation of family violence.

The Sisters, under the capable hands of Sr Kristina, want to give protection and support to the threatened women and children and to homeless pregnant women.  During their stay, they will take part in group therapy work, consultations and family therapy.  They will also receive occupational training in order to enhance their chances of finding work. They will learn about sources of support to accomplish their needs and know their human rights.

Sadly, the people of Bosnia Herzegovina have grown accustomed to violence as a means of settling disputes.  The Bucovica Refuge will help these women to learn to resolve difficulties through dialogue and mutual understanding.

The directors of Arthur McCluskey Foundation can assure our donors that this is an amazing project.  Many masses and prayers have been offered for Arthur and all who continue his work in the beautiful chapel at the Refuge.  The Chapel is dedicated to the Good Shepherd who reaches out to all who need His Help