“The wardrobe contained four hats. Mr. Konstantin puts the first one on when the sun is shining. The second one’s a rain hat, but it’s always dry…” read Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina today, 14 December 2022, at the Children’s Hospital in Šentvid pri Stični. He was reading a fairy story written by his namesake, the multiple award-winning writer Peter Svetina, entitled Mr. Konstantin’s Hat. The hospital director Tanja Smrekar began by introducing the two men to the children – men who have the same name, a different profession, but are also fond of good literature.
The Ombudsman Svetina wanted this event – held in the time leading up to Christmas – to show how a good story can make our everyday problems more bearable, help us recover more quickly, and highlight the importance of human contact and support, especially when we are going through difficult times. He invited the writer Svetina to help him, and they took turns to read the children some of his other fairy tales. They also discussed the content with the children, who very much appreciated the fairy tales and were particularly delighted to have the company of two people with the same name.
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The Children’s Hospital in Šentvid pri Stični is a healthcare institution that provides rehabilitation for children up to the age of 19 who suffer from different kinds of chronic illness. The dedicated staff strive not only to treat the illnesses, but also to prepare the children for life with a chronic illness, and to help them develop a positive self-image and self-esteem.