Family Challenges: When Children Leave Far Away

Bosnia & Herzegovina/Montenegro/Serbia - How parents from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia deal with the daily challenges of separation after their children leave the country.

“Only the ones whose children are far away know how much they are missed”

The story is about parents/grandparents whose children emigrated from small communities in three Western Balkans countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. It tells their personal stories and shows how separation from children and grandchildren affects their mental health and everyday life. Journalists visited three small cities: Sanski Most (BiH), Rožaje (Montenegro), and Vranje (Serbia).

They interviewed local citizens, representatives of the NGO sector and local government, and mental health experts. They conducted an online survey to see the psychological consequences of loneliness and whether citizens are ready to seek professional support if they often feel lonely or depressed. The story also examines whether the local communities have recognized the problem and if anything is being done to improve the mental health of middle-aged and older citizens affected by the emigration of their loved ones.

📷 Hilma Unkic


Hilma Unkic is a freelance journalist from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with more than 10 years of working experience.

Milica Bogdanović is a journalist from Podgorica, Montenegro, with more than ten years of working experience.