“Bloom is Sarajevo’s hidden gem, a bright star in a dark night. Once just a dream and vision of one amazing woman (Ms. Maëlys de Rudder, school’s founder and director), thanks to her leadership, hard work and perseverance, Bloom is today not just a school but a family like no other.
Laila, my daughter, has been attending Bloom for the past eight years (she started in the third grade, and is currently a high school freshman). As we moved from Washington D.C. to Sarajevo that summer, my primary concern was for Laila’s adaptation to a new environment and culture. The Bloom staff, students, and their families made Laila’s transition and adjustment period as easy as possible. The warmth, kindness, care and attention of the teachers, staff and parents have been exceptional from the first day and have ensured Laila’s easy transition, as well as her continued development and flourishment over the years. Even after eight years, I am still impressed when at individual parent-teacher conferences I realize how well Laila’s teachers know and understand her and how much they all care. Opportunities to get involved in various activities, from arts, to sports, to gardening and green house projects organized by the school, gave Laila an opportunity to explore various fields. The holistic approach to education, which is the basis of the Montessori Method, is indeed a living value at Bloom.
The multicultural staff and diverse student body made my daughter feel at home. Personally, it gave me a sense of reassurance that she is in a quality setting that is preparing her for the real world and for real life, where our journeys and business take us across countries and cultures. A setting where learning cultural awareness, tolerance, respect and flexibility happens through spontaneous everyday activities is invaluable.
Given the bleak state of affairs and negative trends in our town and country, Ms. De Rudder’s ability to translate her vision for the school into reality here, versus in some more fortunate environment, is all that much more remarkable. I can only imagine how much effort, sacrifice and patience it took. I have immense respect, admiration and gratitude for Ms. De Rudder’s courage to create a school based on non-traditional, holistic methods of education and child development, in our increasingly conservative and homogeneous society. Ms. De Rudder and her team execute that initial vision with passion and quality each and every day. While school development, just like human development, is never perfect and never ends, what has been achieved so far is truly impressive.
Preparing our children for the world that they will inhabit, a world that we, their parents do not know (just as our parents could not imagine the world that we all live in today), is a challenging task. While I remain concerned for the future of all children, I am confident that the values demonstrated and taught at Bloom, (such as inclusion, freedom of choice, independence, tolerance and respect, to name a few), values which are interwoven in the fabric of Bloom, will help their students become healthy and well- balanced adults.
Grateful to be a part of the Bloom family.”
Maja Dragnic, Bloom Parent