Bosana Foundation

Bosana Foundation is a respected international advocacy organization dedicated to empowering and improving the economic and social well being of marginalized population through the delivery of targeted education, scholarships and livelihood development programs.We focus on education because the youth of today are the decision makers of tomorrow. We also work with women because they such integral and vital parts of both family and community. The Bosana Foundation believes that through our various projects, we are empowering and educating women and youth so that history does not repeat itself and that Bosnia and Herzegovina can once again be a country which boasts peaceful multi-ethnic and mul...
Jul 15, 2014

Quarterly Report April - June 2014

Teachers thank you letter
Teachers thank you letter

BOSANA FOUNDATION

After School Program Quarterly Report

April – June 2014

 

Number of volunteer instructors: 5

Average number of students: 44

Number of workshops held: 3 times a week for two hours  

Type of classes held: Intro to Math, English, German, Bosnian, physics, chemistry, Agro & Eco math and extracarricular activities like a handicrafts, jewlery making, guitar and piano lessons.

Program Summary:

During this reporting period, the instructions were geared towards helping student prepare for the end of the school year exams while also providing some fun extracurricular activities to balance the stressful period. The attendance was higher than usual as expected due to exams so this posted a bit of a problem managing all students; however, the results were very good based on students grades.  

Program Activities in this quarter:

Since the month of May is full of final exams, the children at the Zenica orphanage expressed interest and need for the instructors to come more often than usual and to stay longer. The instructors agreed and made a committment to help them succeed during the exam period. 

The program also focused on building students self-confidence during the exams because a lot of them felt that they could not pass their exams, that they were not smart enough. The volunteers worked extra hard with those students to make sure that they build the confidence because thats half the work.

Finally, the students of our afterschool program were very active during the devastating floods that hit our country back in May and June. Since the displaced families who lost their homes in the floods were placed at the college dorms right by the orphanage many for the week that they did not go to school went every day to help distribute food, helped get more food donations and play with the children of the families. They did their best to contribute and help others as well.

Towards the end of the quarter, we focused mainly on helping students with math to prepare them for the exams. This is the biggest challenge to get the students to learn and improve their math. For those that already had good grades, we cotinued fun activities that we know children liked, like jewlery making, handcrafts, guitar lessons, etc.

Noticable Improvements:

Most importantly, childrens' behavior has improved and their interest to come to our afterschool program even when they do not need so much help. We achieved this by including more fun activities and rewards for those that come and have good behavior.

One particular student had his books stolen and came to speak to our instructor because he could not study without them. He tried borrowing books but by the time his friends used them for their studies it was already late in the evening and he could not finish his homeworks. Our Project Manager managed to get him new books and the student showed his sincere appreciation and drive to learn by coming and staying longer than others. He kept asking for more homework so that he would make up the lost lessons that he was not able to study without books. He even started a separate notebook with new English words to make sure he remembers them and memorizes them.

Worth mentioning are results of two students who started very badly at the beginning of the year and now finished the school with very good grades. Not only that they received good grades in math but they have built confidence, they now enjoy resolving math problems and come to do additional practice. Their confidence is priceless.

CHALLENGES:

There are no serious challenges to report as students are showing great progress in school, interest in extracurricular activities and their behavior has drastically improved.

Jul 15, 2014

Quarterly Report April - June 2014

Bosana students organizing Prom dress drive
Bosana students organizing Prom dress drive

BOSANA FOUNDATION

Scholarship and Personal Development Program

Quarterly Report

April-June 2014

 

Executive Summary:

This second quarter was an extremely successful quarter as far as the financial contributions towards Bosana Foundation. First, there was Seattle Benefit help at the beginning of April that raised close to $10,000 for our programs and our Bosana Annual Benefit held on May 10th that was also an enormous success. We have raised $52K which means that funds are secured for the current group of students enrolled in our scholarship program. We will also be able to accept new students in the upcoming 2014/2015 academic year. In this quarter, we also experienced a natural disaster where Bosnia and Herzegovina was hit with the worst floods in the last century and many families, including those of our students were affected. At the same time we were able to see how much Bosana program and the ideals that we were trying to convey really meant to our students. We are proud to report that all of our students have been a part of the solution in this natural disaster. They have volunteered to go clean up affected areas, to prepare rescue packages; they have organized small fundraisers and even donated as much as they could. Together with our donors in Orange County, CA they collected prom dresses for the girls who were supposed to graduate this year to at least put a smile on their faces for one evening.

Students and Program Update:

Students were preparing for their midterms and exams that were scheduled in the first and second month of this quarter; however, catastrophic floods have affected most of the country. Classes were postponed so student body could help in the clean-up process and our students have taken seriously this responsibility. All the attention shifted to flooded areas and different ways they could help their friends and neighbors. Our students have helped with clean-up after the floods, they packed food and other necessities, and they have organized fundraisers at their colleges. Female students have also agreed to donate their dresses for the girls from Maglaj that are graduating from high school. Maglaj was one of the cities that was completely destroyed, and people lost everything. Since high school graduation was postponed until august they have decided to collect prom dresses from their friends and themselves. These dresses might not be so important in the time like this, but it was a very nice gesture and certainly something that students and parents will appreciate when the time comes.

This year we will have nine (9) students graduate college. This is our official first graduating class of Bosana students who have started with us from year one until now. As a result, we have geared our focus towards helping these students become self-sufficient or those who wish to continue their studies to find the best universities. At this point, we know that at least 5 students are sure that they want to continue their education and obtain Masters degree. Three wish to attend universities outside of BIH but some have not submitted their paperwork on time and might not be able to start college in September but will have to wait until spring semester.

Our students are still taking some of their exams and they will continue to take into the beginning of next quarter. At this point, we are still waiting for results but majority of our 38 students are in good academic standing.

Updates from the last report:

We have reported last quarter that we have 9 students graduating, and majority would like to continue their education. Unfortunately, due to the changes in schedules and postponed classes, few students will not be able to make the deadline to apply for the graduate program. In the upcoming year these students will be transferred into the Professional Development program until they are accepted to the graduate program of their choosing. Students who are not interested in continuing education will have the support from the organization in their employment seeking endeavors. President of the foundation is currently focused on this next stage of the program where we want to secure employment for our students by connecting with different local companies that will offer employment to our students based on their qualifications and recommendations. She has been working on this plan for some time and we really hope that this way Bosana will be able to help our students transition into the next phase of their life.

Noticeable Improvements:

--Nadja K., second year economy student from Bihac has won the essay competition. The task was to write an essay on topic “How to solve youth unemployment in BiH”. Reward for the best essay was a trip to Los Angeles to attend Bosana’s 5th Annual benefit. Nadja gave a speech at the event and expressed her gratitude to all the donors on behalf of all Bosana students. Donors appreciated the fact that they got to meet one of our students and learn more about everyday issues they are facing. It was beneficial for our donors to learn firsthand how much Bosana means to these students.

--Two of our Professional Development students edited Bosana video for the annual event. They have put a lot of effort into this video to help us and contribute toward the work of the foundation. Video was focused on two days of the team building organized for Bosana students back in March.

--Selma S., art student at University of Banja Luka has been a center of attention this quarter. It was announced that she will be the artist that will open summer festival in Croatia and in less than a week it was announced that she received a prestigious award for her creativity and innovation. Her work is being honored by the Center for Contemporary Art Sarajevo (SCCA). The award “Zvono 2014” has been awarded to Selma for her work created in the last two years. She has been trying to express her standpoints about treatment of the Roma people, to show that she is not ashamed of her background and to show how much Roma people are misunderstood, neglected and ostracized from the society.

--Svjetlana P., our student from Banja Luka attended “Sajam Praksi i Stipendija” on behalf of Bosana Foundation. She shared information about scholarship program and her experience as our student. This is the first time that we had our student representing the organization on their own and we are very excited to see new students in this role. We are hoping that we will have more of our students representing the foundation and spreading the word about our programs and benefits of the same.

Challenges:

Due to the catastrophic floods that happen in the Balkans, exam schedules for many universities have changed. Classes were stopped temporarily and rescheduled in the month of May to help those in need. Students whose families were not affected by floods offered their help to their peers. Exam schedules were shifted but the change in dates of testing should not affect individual academic performance of our students. Right now, majority of our students are in good academic standing. They are still waiting on results and exams are scheduled through July. We will have more specific information about their academic progress in the next quarter.

Since its our first year with dealing with our graduating class, some mistakes were made in preparing our students better for the Masters program. The BiH educational system is very different from the ones in other countries where students have to apply months in advance. Many did not know this and did not submit their applications on time, which means that they will not be able to start their programs in September but will have to wait until Spring semester. This is a lesson learned for us to make sure we warn our graduating students to think ahead when they need to apply for universities for those who wish to study abroad.

Bosana Summitt
Bosana Summitt
Bosana student managing our booth at convention
Bosana student managing our booth at convention
Apr 17, 2014

Quarterly Report January- March 2014

Teacher
Teacher's note about student's improvement

BOSANA FOUNDATION

After School Program Quarterly Report

January – March 2014

 

Number of volunteer instructors: 9

Average number of students: 30

Number of workshops/classes held:  3 times a week each for two hours   

Type of classes held: Intro to Math, English, German, Bosnian language, physics, chemistry, Economics, computer science, guitar and piano lessons, Turkish language classes.  

 

Program Activities and Goals:

During this reporting period, our beneficiaries were in their exams period, some were on their winter break and all also started the new semester in February. Thoughtout this busy period, our after school program did not take a break because the students needed assistance to pass their exams as well as contructive outlet during the break.  Some of our beneficiares were also preparing for regional competitions with other schools and we helped them prepare for that as well.  Some of the new workshops during the break were free activities like going to the cinema and theatre as well as educational workshops in the nature.  This quarter, many beneficiares who are finishing middle school complained that their English teacher was bad and many truly had not progressed as much in their studies.  To help them over the break, we specifiaclly focused on this group during our fun activities that included learning better English.  To keep the students interested in learning over the break, we had beneficiaries play English language quizz assignments.  Many have learned new words that they did not know, as well as improve their overall language skills.  We did the same quiz in Turkish language as well. 

Noticable Improvements:

Our workshops have proven to develop certain skills and interests in the children that they did not have before. This is most evident when they do not want to finish the class and they pay close attention to our instructors. Grades are the best indication that the program is effective and this reporting period shows that progress due to many beneficiaries drastically improving their grades.  

We would like to specifically mention a young girl (13) who was a constant distraction to others attending the program.  The volunteers struggled to keep her busy and not distracting other participants.  One of the volunteers is studying Pedagogy so she has particularly worked with this student to help her find creative and constructive outlets. They have found out that she particularly likes Playdoo and so whenever she did an assigmnent correctly, they would give her Playdoo to play and keep her busy. This not only improved her attention but also her grades as she was failing in English and now she managed to obtain a B.  (Photo above is a note from her teacher letting us know how much better she is doing).

We are also receiving great cooperation and interest from those graduating middle and high school who come to our workshops.  Their grades are improving, they are talking to our volunteers outside of the classroom wanting to share their ideas and future where they would like to go to school, what they would like to do. 

CHALLENGES:

There are no serious challenges to report as studetns are showing great progress in school, interest in extracurricular activities and their behavior has drastically improved.  However, there is a «good problem to have» and this is that students come when they recieve a bad grade or when they have an exam. As soon as they are helped with their homework or they recieve a good grade on their exam, they stop coming until they again need our help. To keep these students interested, we have included more fun yet still educational activiites that the children would not want to miss.  On the other hand, we have not forced the student to come because sometimes they only cause distraction for those that still need our continued support. 

Beneficiaries working on homework
Beneficiaries working on homework
Students at the movie theatre--free activity
Students at the movie theatre--free activity
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