Bosnia is one of the most culturally and religiously diverse countries in Europe. In the 3.3 million populated country, it is possible to see a mosque, synagogue and church on the same street. The ‘heart shaped land’ is also home to artisans and craftsmen who have upcycled remnants of the war into compelling artistic pieces.
The Bosnia war, which began in 1992 and ended in 1995, left 4.2 million Bosnians internally and externally displaced, destroyed infrastructure and resulted in a collapsed economy. Ever since, the country has made significant progress in reconstructing infrastructure, state-building, and social integration.
However, high unemployment rates and gender inequality continue to negatively impact people’s ability to access nutritious food, education and healthcare. The low employment rates have resulted in many of the youth and widow populations leaving the country in search of secure livelihoods.
Bosnia has also become an intermediate destination for migrants and refugees. The new migrant and refugee population have put a strain on already limited resources, such as food, water and sanitation, and shelter. The inadequate shelter has left many in Bosnia living in abandoned buildings and makeshift shelters, which is made even worse during the harsh, winter months.
For people across Bosnia-Herzegovina, life is incredibly challenging:
Islamic Relief started its work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 during the war, where we delivered food, water, and clothes to vulnerable populations across the country. After the war, we established an office in Sarajevo and served communities to rebuild homes, schools, and provide Ramadan and Qurbani food packages.
Through our humanitarian and development projects, we implement food security, livelihood, non-food items, education, and psycho-social support. Islamic Relief Canada particularly focuses our efforts on single-parent families and orphans, as they are the most vulnerable population.
Our Inspire Classroom project aims to provide foreign language, IT, Quran lessons, and other forms of education to orphans with the purpose of increasing their opportunity for higher education and employment. This project not only targets orphans but also the educational attainment of single mothers.
In response to the increasingly adverse effects of climate change causing heavy rain and flash flooding, Islamic Relief is currently providing hygiene items and cleaning products to 250 households. Additionally, we are providing dehumidifiers in order to drain affected homes of moisture and prevent mold, so families can safely return to their homes.
In addition, we annually distribute clothes, blankets, heating kits, and other non-food items to help families better cope during the winter season. We are currently distributing hygiene kits, sleep bags, winter clothes and boots to 3,000 migrants.
Follow your donation and see your impact over the past year in Bosnia and Herzegovina.