Balkan war children in Switzerland for holiday

Welcome to Switzerland: children from Bosnia and Kosovo arrive in Zurich Keystone

One hundred children from war-torn Bosnia and Kosovo are in Switzerland for a two-week holiday, at the invitation of the president, Adolf Ogi.

This content was published on August 9, 2000

The children, aged between nine and 12, will spend their time relaxing at a former army camp in Melchtal.

A range of activities will be open to them, including excursions to the mountains, the federal capital, Berne and to the transport museum in Lucerne.

Many of the young Bosnians and Kosovars sustained serious physical injuries during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Others lost one or both parents.

Ogi said the idea behind the government-sponsored project was to do something positive to mark the new century.

"The last century was a terrible one, and now we need to do things to make the future better."

The children will be looked after by soldiers, and the army will provide all the necessary medical and administrative support.

Ogi hopes the project won't be a one-off. Plans are afoot to raise funds to repeat the exercise in years to come.

swissinfo with agencies

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