Bosnian native opens her heart and voice to help others back home

February 16, 2017 06:49 PM

While this country grapples with the issues of immigration, a local woman remembers the war in her native land and still tries to help people there.

Even though the war is over, she says that conflict still resonates with the people there.

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Vedrana Kalas teaches English as a New Language at Boght Elementary School in Latham with such compassion. That's because like her students, she knows what it's like to be a kid adjusting to a new country and a new school.

She grew up in Bosnia during a war where Serbs targeted Bosniak and Croatian civilians in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. An estimated 100,000 people were killed and millions were displaced. She remembers a scarcity of food and water.

Her family made it to the United States, but still thinks about the children there, especially now that she's having a child and she wants to help.

Along with being a teacher, Kalas is also a singer and gave a performance three years ago to raise money for the children still recovering from the war. She will do it again at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on Friday. The money will go to kids still living there and still feeling the repercussions of war.

Looking at the current situation and turmoil in this country, she says it’s time to realize that we’re all the same, we’re all people.

More information:

Bosana Foundation

Vedrana Kalas 'Open Your Heart' concert at UAlbany


WNYT Staff

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