Family activities can often be a difficult thing for young children, especially if they are away from their family for extended periods of time.
But a little boy named Kosta had a remarkable way of overcoming these challenges and finding solace.
In 2014, Kosta, who is from the Balkan nation of Macedonia, and his family were on holiday in the Croatian city of Kumanovo when they were attacked by a gang of migrants.
Kosta’s mother, Maria, had already lost her job and her job with the local water company.
The attack was so brutal, Maria was unable to go to work.
She went to a nearby hospital, but was unable arouse Kosta and his brothers to come to their parents.
Kosta’s father, Zoran, had also lost his job and the family was desperate for any kind of help.
Kostera and his siblings, aged 12 and 14, had come to Croatia from Serbia, where the violence was even more brutal.
But they were being ignored by their parents, and they could not get help from their Serbian neighbours.
“I couldn’t find anyone who could help them,” Kosta told the BBC.
Maria was convinced that their parents were corrupt and needed help.
But it was difficult for Maria to trust the authorities.
The family’s life was in danger, and she was desperate to find any help she could.
“I told my family, ‘You need to get help,’ but they were scared.
I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t spoken up,” Kosteras mother told the AFP news agency.
“The only thing they could do is look for help elsewhere.”
The next day, Maria went to the local hospital and saw a doctor who had come with her to a clinic for young people with autism.
Maria, who had been suffering from anxiety and depression, went to see the doctor who told her she needed to see a psychologist.
“I was very afraid and was in tears, but they said, ‘Go ahead and do it.
We can help you,'” Maria told the AP news agency, adding that she was also afraid of the authorities who could not help.
In the clinic, the doctor showed Maria and her brothers a video of a young boy in a wheelchair who had had a heart attack.
She also showed them a photo of Kosta in his hospital gown.
Maria said she saw the boy in the video in tears and she felt that the doctor had shown him the child’s picture.
“My mother said, [to Koster,] ‘He’s beautiful.
He’s just like you’,” Koster told the news agency in an interview.
When Maria went home, she saw that the boy was still alive and was sleeping in the living room.
“He’s a normal child, a normal teenager,” Maria told AFP.
“It was a miracle for us.”
The family took a taxi to the hospital and found a doctor, who said Kosta would need to be hospitalized for two weeks.
On the first day of his hospital stay, Koster was given a new name, Kosta.
Maria and the children took their family to the Serbian town of Rokug for a visit with a psychologist and social workers.
They were welcomed by the local government and were able to attend school together.
The family then moved to the Croatian capital, Bratislava, where they were welcomed at a new school for the disabled, where Kosta now attends.
Maria and the boys continue to receive help from Serbian neighbours, but the community has been very slow to respond to the attacks.
The family has since moved to a small village in the Serbian village of Žegož, which is now home to Kosta.
Maria has started to use a wheelchair, and now goes to the school with Koster as well as his siblings.
While the community’s response to the violence has been slow, Maria says she is still very hopeful that it will improve.
“Now that I’m a parent, I can help my children.
I can be the one to say ‘Go home.
We need to go home’,” Maria told The Associated Press.
“But it’s very difficult for me.
The violence has not been stopped.
People say, ‘If you don’t leave the country, we will kill you.'”
Maria says that her children are doing fine, but she still worries that the Serbian community will not listen to her.
“Maybe they think that I don and that I should just go back to Serbia,” she told the Associated Press, adding: “They think we will be killed in Serbia.”