EMPOWERING ROMA GIRLS
Hi! My name is Stella Neuschul. I am a 17 year old living in San Francisco. I was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and moved to America when I was 8 years old. For me, being bilingual is also being bicultural. My ability to understand the culture and lifestyle of two contrasting worlds has exposed me to a variety of traditions, behaviors and beliefs, enabling me to recognize and associate myself with those different from me.
Although basketball has been an important part of my life for nearly 9 years, Covid-19 has made it nearly impossible to play. It has also made it impossible for me to travel to Ružica in August, 2020 for the planned basketball camp. However, regardless of the countless restrictions, there are many ways I can help the girls in Ružica.
About "The Others" ORganization
Through my camp, "The Others" I was eager to introduce this energizing sport to girls who haven't had the opportunity to learn it. The camp would have taken place in Ruzica, Bosnia from August 3rd-7th 2020, where 10 teenage Roma girls will learn to play basketball. I planned to teach them basic basketball rules, skills and drills as well as fun games and scrimmages.
A lot has changed since my plan to organize a summer basketball camp. Covid-19 has restricted me from traveling to Ružica this August, so the summer camp has been cancelled. I want to repurpose the money I have raised. Covid-19 has revealed a much deeper issue that Roma people are facing. Inadequate access to healthcare, inability of my peers to continue their education, or their parents’ ability to provide for their families due to sheltering in place, are just some of the issues that Roma people in Bosnia are increasingly facing as a result of this global pandemic. For the Roma kids, schools are a single source of social networking outside of their community. For Roma girls specifically, schools are a source of stability and safety, a place of hope and aspiration.
Therefore, I have decided to shift my focus towards immediately helping solve one of the most essential issues for this marginalized group of people - education. I would like to ask you to stay on board with me as I plan to build a small library in the village of Ružica. Your generous donations will help buy books, technology and software and shelves to help run this library. The building where the library will be is already under construction, and is expected to be finished in the next month. The idea is to create a space and give access to reading and the internet. My goal is to finish the library by the beginning of the next school year in September. I have much bigger dreams and plans with them, but this is the beginning!
To impact the lives of these girls, please contribute to the GoFundMe or visit the How I Can Help page to learn more!