came to Slovenia from Kosovo. This country is located between Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia. It was part of former Yugoslavia.
Artiola came to Slovenia together with her mother and sister about two years ago, joining her father.
The twelve-year-old is now in sixth grade of Matija Čop Kranj Primary School. In her free time she goes to go to Škrlovec youth centre, where she learns Slovene and attends various workshops. Whenever there is some time left, she goes on a walk with her friends.
She came to Slovenia because she wanted a better life. Schools and teachers in Kosovo are not as good as in Slovenia.
“The entire school had only one toilet. The building was very high, and if you were on the highest floor, where the classrooms were, the way to the toilet was very long,” she says.
Even though Artiola completed the first four classes in a school with poorer education quality, she learned a lot, because she has always loved to read. Pippi Longstocking is one of her favourite books.
Although she likes it in Slovenia, she misses her former home. Her grandmother and grandfather, uncles, aunts and cousins all stayed there. In Kosovo, she also had a lot of friends, with whom she played tag, hide and seek, and Chinese jump rope. What helps her feel less homesick is making traditional food, such as eggs with peppers.
In Kosovo, people like to eat meat and do not go out for a salad like Slovenians, she describes the differences between the two countries. Her favourite dish is goulash.
She is happy that she made new friends over these two years. They play monkey in the middle, volleyball, which she used to practice, and even football. The latter is the most popular sport in her former home country.
“As soon as I learn Slovenian, I will start practicing again,” says Artiola, who is very strict with herself and her knowledge. She wants to become a lawyer because it hurts her seeing people around her being treated unfairly.
With a population of about two million, including a very large proportion of young people, Kosovo is considered the second poorest country in Europe, where not everybody has access to drinking water.
Even if children finish school, it is very difficult to find a job. Because unemployment rates in Kosovo are very high, Artiola, too, probably could not get a job if she had stayed there.
This is why many go to other European countries to look for better opportunities.
Artiola does not know if she is staying in Slovenia for good, because her parents want to go to Germany to join her aunt and other relatives.
She wants to stay, because she likes living Kranj very much. She says she could live here for the rest of her life.
Good day: Mirdita.
Thank you: Faleminderit.