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

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
Apr 14, 2014

Quarterly Report January- March 2014

Students Team Building weekend
Students Team Building weekend

BOSANA FOUNDATION

Scholarship and Personal Development Program

Quarterly Report

January- March 2014

 

Executive Summary:

The first quarter of this year has been thus far the most promising start of the new year with so many great opportunities and productive results that we hope will spill to all other quarters for the remainder of the year. Our students were also in the midst of exams so our focus was to also make sure they produce good results.  Still, the most exciting part of this quarter was the Bosana students Team building that the Bosana Board has decided to become a focal part of the scholarship program each year. 

Students and Program Update:

All thirty-eight (38) Bosana students in this first quarter had to prepare for their midterms and final semester exams that were scheduled in the first and second month of this quarter. Few of our students had also “carried over” few of their exams from the previous academic year that they had to pass in order to be able to advance into the following year.  For some this presented a problem and a lot more work but only one student that was already on suspension failed to pass his exams and will be removed from the scholarship program.  The rest of the students were taking exams only from the classes taken in the fall/winter semester of 2013/2014. Overall it was a successful semester.

Majority of our students have taken and passed all of their exams. We still have few students that were not able to take exams due to the unavailability of professors and they will have to wait for April to be able to take these exams.  Other students were not able to take those classes that they did not pass in this semester because they are not offered in the midterm of the year but rather only at the end of each year.  This year, we are expecting to have seven graduates and we are trying to help these students take their final exams and prepare for the next step, whether we are talking about continuing their higher education or venturing into the employment world.

Since Bosana Foundation registered in 2010, this will be our first “graduating class” of our scholarship recipients so we are very excited to show our donors these seven graduates who otherwise would not be able to have a college diploma. For those graduating this year, we have transferred them into our Professional Development program, which is more geared towards preparing them for life after college.   This means that they are excused from volunteering the 10 hours minimum that our students must complete and rather we encourage them to spent this time studying, writing their resumes, applying for jobs and possibly even starting to either volunteer or work at potential companies that might employ them after finishing their universities. 

We have also forged a new partnership with CPE (Centre for Professional Education) that will give all of our students take free classes that they offer: among them are language classes, computers, graphic and web design, etc.

Worth mentioning is one of our students Mirzet Omerovic studying Economy at the University in Tuzla who drastically improved his grades after receiving a laptop donation from a company in Sarajevo, “Wood Team” whom we contacted amongst other donors asking to help us get Mirzet a laptop because he really needed it for his studies and also to be able to make additional income to help his parents.  This new laptop inspired Mirzet to try even harder to succeed and also to show his appreciation to Bosana Foundation and our donors.  This shows how our students recognize the opportunities we are giving them and are willing to work hard. 

Nevertheless, the most rewarding and exciting news of this quarter is the students’ gathering for Bosana Team Building that took place for two days, which included an 8hour hike to the highest village on the Bjelasnica mountain and the next day rafting on the Neretva river in Konjic.  The goal of the team building was for all of our students to get together, collaborate and learn more about nature and history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.   Our goal was also for students to do something that none of them have ever done, to test their limits and through this team building of survival in nature, extreme weather, necessity for collaboration and support of one another learn that only together can they achieve real results, that they put limits on themselves what they think that they can and cannot do and that the hard and most exhausting moments are when you are at the top, right before you succeed.  This was an amazing adventure and an eye opener for many students who thought they could never climb a mountain, walk for that long, had fear of water, lacked social skills, etc.  At the end of these two days, all students went home with new and real friendships, appreciation for one another and themselves, and with a memory that will last them a lifetime.  It was also a nice and rewarding break for many after the exams and before the new semester.

During this Team Building weekend students also presented their Vision Boards, an assignment that was given to them to give them an opportunity to portray their hopes and dreams of the future. Students voted amongst themselves and chose Edin Serifovic vision board as the best one. His reward will be to help him towards a realization of one of the visions from the board, which will be most likely a bike trip to Greece this summer.  Selma Kurtanovic vision board was awarded second place and she won 100KM.

Final update of this quarter was the essay contest that we offered to all of our students to write on the topic “how would they address the unemployment problem of the youth in BIH”.  The prize for the best essay was an all paid trip to Los Angeles for one of the students to attend our 5th Annual Benefit and for a chance to meet our donors.  On march 31st, an essay committee comprised of seven (7) members selected Nadja Kasumovic essay as the best one.  Nadja was also selected our best student last year and received a laptop.  

Program Challenges:

Some of the students had issues with their exams due to some of their personal problems but also not being able to pass their exams and therefore not satisfying our expectations from each student that’s required to maintain the scholarship.  While we always do our best to avoid any student losing the scholarship, for some its simply not possible unless they do their part and pass the exams. Currently, we have one student who has notified us on time that due to his medical problems he might not be able to successfully complete the year and we are always sympathetic to students who come to us on time and show that they are doing their best bust are simply prevented due to medical problems.  However, one of the students has lost his scholarship after this semester because his contract stated that unless he passes all of his grates in this semester he will lose the scholarship because he was already given a second chance when he decided to completely change majors and start from beginning.   However, since he is a child from an orphanage without any family, we have given him a third and last chance that he has to pass all of his classes by the end of the school year and if he is able to continue into the next school year in September, that we will reinstate his scholarship.  This is the final chance that we will give him; however, from now until September his scholarship funds are frozen.

Donor driven update worth mentioning: 

At the end of January, Selma Cosic, a young lady originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina how now lives and works in Richmond, Virginia organized a private fundraiser with a group of her closest friends and she raised $1000. Soon after this event, she also decided to start a campaign to raise additional $3,000 by running a marathon with a group of her friends.  She managed to even surpass that amount and raise $3,600.  In addition to that, she will use her companies matching funds to match everything that she has raised and she hopes that by June of this year, she will have donated to Bosana together with her company $10,000.  This is just one of the events that has been organized by our supporters in 2014 and it only goes to show how much Bosana Foundation is making an impact on young people both in BiH and around the world.

 

 

 

 

Marathon in Richmond, VA for Bosana Foundation
Marathon in Richmond, VA for Bosana Foundation
Mirzet, our scholarship studen receives his laptop
Mirzet, our scholarship studen receives his laptop
Our student spends a week in Paris & Rome w/mentor
Our student spends a week in Paris & Rome w/mentor
An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
  • $25
  • $45
  • $75
  • $100
  • $200
  • $250
  • $5,400
  • $10
    each month
  • $25
    each month
  • $45
    each month
  • $75
    each month
  • $100
    each month
  • $200
    each month
  • $250
    each month
  • $5,400
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Bosana Foundation

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Bosana Foundation on GreatNonProfits.org.