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...
Apr 8, 2015

Quarterly Report, January - March 2015

afterschool program classes
afterschool program classes

Project location: Orphanage in Zenica

Period: January- March 2015

Beneficiaries: 6 to 17 years old living in Zenica orphanage

Volunteers/teachers: 11

 

Activities performed during this quarter:

1)     Creative workshops

In the past quarter, the high school students had an exhibition of all products that they made during our workshops. Because there was so much interest and creativity shown among the beneficiaries, we decided to continue this activities because it brought beneficiaries regularly to classroom, their behavior improved and we noticed their creativity improve. We were also happy to see that the workshop attracted more boys each time. The results noticed with this workshop showed that the beneficiaries improved their work, and with help of their instructors they now make perfect jewelry boxes, plates, boards and vases. One of beneficiaries made such a lovely box for her mother’s birthday. Another girl who was a rebel and refused to cooperate with anyone is now one of the most active beneficiaries in these creative workshops. She has made many boxes, drawings with different symbols (flowers, stars, hearts, etc). She is really trying hard and all the caretakers have noticed her improvement in behavior and towards school. Most importantly, she is no longer aggressive. Several girls who will soon graduate from high school want to continue with this workshop because they realized that they can earn some money which will help them a lot when they leave orphanage. Some of these beautiful creations will also be sold at the Bosana Annual Benefit in Los Angeles on May 30th. This is a way for the children to show donors the beautiful creations they made, but also made additional income.

2)     BIH Independence Day

This quarter, we also wanted to commemorate and teach the beneficiaries about the BIH Independence Day, which is on March 1st. In order to inform the beneficiaries about the statehood day of our country we planned and successfully organized a party for them. We invited additional volunteers to help us organize fun and educational games and to manage the party. We also bought some snacks, candies and juices, as well as props to help us teach the beneficiaries interesting facts about their country and this day. There were about 30 beneficiaries of different ages waiting for us. They were so happy and excited to see us bringing something for them.  As part of their lesson, we handed papers and colors and asked beneficiaries to draw something that they felt represented and showed their love and appreciation towards their country. We gave them about 15 minutes and said that 3 best papers will be awarded. After they finished, we collected their papers and to complete the fun party, we also played karaoke. We were delighted by beneficiaries’ creativity and selecting the best three was very hard. Beneficiaries who were awarded were beneficiaries from 6th grade, high school, and 1st grade.

3)     A visit to American corner

To keep beneficiaries creativity up and to make sure that they behave, we always promise them that we will take them to certain places if they actively participate and keep on studying. Since they were good this semester, we decided to organize some games and activities together with the director of city’s library. First, the director showed us all the rooms and introduced benefits of visiting place like these, as reading books. We stayed at the American corner for about two hours where the beneficiaries had a great time using computers and reading books. There were also some newspapers which teenagers liked and they were so happy to get a chance to spend some free time here. Later on, the director of the library brought us some snacks and juices and gave some books to the beneficiaries. Visits like these are very beneficial to the participants because it gets them out of the orphanage, builds their interest in books and appreciation for various cultures, literatures, etc.

4)     A visit to Input centre

As part of the afterschool program, we also organized a short-term/intensive course of English language calling it a “Week of English” with a teacher from the “Input Centre”, a co-partner and collaborator of Bosana on this Afterschool program. We brought 11 beneficiaries who were between 10 and 18 years old willing to learn to speak English. They had a great time with the teacher while meeting every day for one week (8th-13th March). The course included video materials, flash cards, body language lessons and games. Beneficiaries enjoyed the class and for most of them their English drastically improved, mainly getting them rid of the fear of speaking a different language.

5)     A visit to Shopping centre

As mentioned, we like to take the beneficiaries out of the orphanage so not all of their classes are in the same room. Diversity breeds creativity and interest and so we try our best to take them outside. We promised the beneficiaries if they are well behaved that we will take them to a nearby shopping center that all the beneficiaries really like because it’s the most popular meeting place in the city. We treated the selected beneficiaries to a beverage in a coffee shop where we carried conversations about their life activities and plans. Beneficiaries were very curious about different life topics so we talked about going out, not staying too late, the disadvantages of smoking and drink and bad habits in general. We also talked to them about being careful about meeting new people. They really enjoyed this alot.

6)     Ongoing afterschool activities in the orphanage three times a week

This is our ongoing program that we give beneficiaries continuously in the orphanage helping them with their homework, exams and any other issues that they have in school. This quarter there were no problems to report with beneficiaries and their school. Since it’s the beginning of the new semester, there were no important exams, which is why this quarter we focused mainly on fun activities.

Results accomplished during this quarter

  • Beneficiaries had organized extracurricular activities outside of the orphanage: they visited the American corner, Input Centre and Shopping Centre.
  • Beneficiaries learned how to make different drawings using decoupage techniques, jewelry boxes, pencil holders and colorful cutting boards. They also read books and further learned to speak English.

Many Beneficiaries who attend our workshops also started asking questions about college and life after orphanage. Because many of them plan to enroll in college we will dedicate one class towards speaking to the beneficiaries what its like to go to college, how to apply and to help them best chose the right college for them. We feel honored that many of these beneficiaries would not think of college or have the grades to pursue their dreams if it was not for this afterschool program that prepared them to even start thinking about their

workshops
workshops
jewlery boxes made by children
jewlery boxes made by children
Jan 14, 2015

Quarterly Report October - December 2014

Students employed part time
Students employed part time

BOSANA FOUNDATION

Scholarship and Personal Development Program

Quarterly Report

October – December 2014

 

Executive Summary:

Last quarter of the calendar year was not really hectic for our students as the previous one. At the end of the previous quarter we have welcomed 14 new students so our focus was geared towards helping them adjust to the university life and Bosana scholarship requirements. We wanted to help them connect with the rest of the group in order for them to feel like they are part of our big family. Most of the new students were just starting college and they were trying to embrace their new obligations, adapt to the new environment and a new city. At the end of the quarter students had midterms and are still awaiting their results. For most part, the results that we know thus far are positive and encouraging that the students will not have a problem to successfully complete this semester. The month of December and January are set out for exams that will take place at the end of January and beginning of February.

Students and Program Update:

The beginning of the new academic year can be challenging for the new students but for some current students as well. Students that are new need some time to adapt, settle into the new city, find new friends and adjust to the new educational structure. Students that have completed one or two years in college are now trying to fulfil all requirements while getting exposed to new course material. For some students, they still have to pass classes from previous semester or a year so this can be an issue if too many classes add up.

Overall, this has been a quiet semester. It takes couple of months of going through course material before midterms happen and they have started for most of our students in December, but majority of them are still waiting on results. It is important for students to get good grades on their midterms, subsequently that will help them once the time comes to take the final exams. Some courses can be passed just by passing all midterms or it might at least help them get higher grades. We are constantly encouraging our students to be consistent, to study regularly and get good grades on their midterms so there is less stress during the final exam season. In the following quarter we will have concrete information about their academic success in this semester. Currently, most of our students are positive and believe that there should be no issues with their academic results.

Highlights of the quarter:

Two of our students have been hired by Rukom Concept Store on part-time basis during the holiday season at the Sarajevo Holiday Market. This was a great opportunity for our students to gain some experience plus it was an opportunity to earn extra money for their everyday needs.

One of our students from Trebinje proposed a humanitarian action because she has heard about a mother and a daughter that are barely surviving, have poor living conditions, and are in need of basic needs. She asked the rest of the students to gather clothes and other necessities in order to help this family. The project was very well received with the rest of the group. They all joined and collected what they could, some sent part of their scholarship directly to this family bank account. They also sent clothes and school supplies to Tuzla where some of our students live to gather all the donations and take them directly to the family. Students then submitted a report to describe the whole process and what they have learned.

This was a very noble notion from our students who themselves have very little to share. They decide to give as much they can and help a family in need. What is even more noteworthy is the fact that students realized that they were happy to be able to help someone; so far they have been on the receiving end of the humanitarian aid.

We are so proud that our students are giving back to the community. This is the ultimate goal for us, to continue the circle of giving to inspire our students to give back to their community and inspire other members of community to do so. They have learned that it is not important how much you can give but the fact that you want to help people in need and that it is coming from the goodness of one’s heart. The amount of that help is irrelevant.

After this project was completed and they have seen how successful it was even with limited donations from them, they decided to find a way to do similar projects every month in different cities. Right now they are trying to form groups and team leaders in order to implement this idea.

We are confident that our students will continue with these little projects that will bring happiness to many other little girls.

Challenges:

This quarter did not have any major challenges. We are trying to stay on top of our student’s needs. We are offering tutoring to students that might need additional help with the midterm exams. In the next quarter they will have to be ready for final exams for the fall semester and we want to make sure they have all the help that we can offer.

students with collected donations
students with collected donations
Jan 14, 2015

Quarterly Report October - December 2014

Place(s): Orphanage in Zenica

Period: September – December 2014

Beneficiaries age: 6 - 17 years old

Number of volunteers who supporter this program in this quarter: 10

Afterschool Program activities in September – December Quarter

Classes were organized and held twice a week, mostly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Nearly 50 beneficiaries attended the classes this quarter, which included lessons in Math, English, Physics and Bosnian, creative and computer workshops and music lessons. Students who took extra lessons from the mentioned subjects had satisfactory marks and wanted to learn more and get better results. Each beneficiary got one teacher/volunteer who worked with him/her on improving their skills. They worked hard and continuously especially in the month of December which was the period of exams. At the end of school term they brought their report cards where it is clearly shown that they have no marks lower than 3 (which is equal to a C). This is a huge improvement considering that many beneficiaries when this project started three years ago were failing lot of their classes. This shows continues improvement because now no beneficiaries are failing.

More about the Creative workshop

Creative workshop was held on Saturdays. Several students mostly girls participated in creative workshop where they learned how to paint using decoupage technique over wood, glass and paper. Students who graduated from high school and are still in the orphanage couldn’t wait for this workshop. They were happy when they saw what can be made out of wood and glass. They made perfect boxes for jewelry and amazing glass gallons for pencils. They feel proud and happy that they can make something like this. Later, on December 20th we had an exhibition where we sold some boxes and gave them the money. This has encouraged the beneficiaries to want to get even more creative and to find ways how they can continue making extra income.

An hour of code

This event is a worldwide event were programmers participate from all over the world. All kids interested in coding and computers especially those who attend our computer workshop came to Input office and had a great time. There were about 15 kids who enjoyed themselves during this hour of code. They came together with their caretakers and had a great time in our centre.

A visit to city’s library

We promised to all participants of the Afterschool program to bring them to certain places if they actively participated and keep on studying at our Afterschool Program. On November 23rd we brought them to the City’s library where the Director of the library welcomed us in the American corner and prepared a short speech about the American history. We also visited all other departments of the library that the beneficiaries have never seen before and they were so happy to see that. The director of city’s library promised to give one free membership card to one of the students in the second term and for the management of Input to decide who is the most deserving from the Afterschool program to receive it. This gave an incentive to some beneficiaries to try even harder.

A visit to the theatre

Our Program coordinator organized for the beneficiaries to watching a play called “The princess and the pea” in the theatre for 20 kids from the orphanage. We talked to orphanage administration and we gathered 23 kids and brought them to the theatre. The play was so entertaining and educational since actors talked in English as well. Kids enjoyed and asked to watch more plays in the future which is also our objective.  

A visit to cinema

Our Program coordinator contacted cinema’s management to allow some of our beneficiaries to attend a movie in 3D projection. After receiving an approval from the director of the orphanage we brought them to the cinema. We brought around 50 kids and we enjoyed watching a cartoon “The legend of Sarila” which carried a message that good always wins. After the cartoon finished we had lunch and juice in cinema restaurant. Later on, we escorted kids to the orphanage.

A celebration of the New Year

We organized a party for all kids in the orphanage with a singer and a karaoke. We also brought them a lot of snacks, juice and sweets. Kids were very happy and they were singing and had a lot of fun.

Achievements/results in this quarter

  • Beneficiaries visited city’s library, cinema and theatre.
  • Beneficiaries learned how to make different drawings using decoupage technique.
  • Beneficiaries made a lot of boxes, pencil holders and colorful cutting boards.
  • After continuous attendance to our afterschool program several students successfully enrolled into college. Some of those who enrolled into college have written letters to express appreciation and how important the afterschool program was in helping them achieve the results to grant them the entrance to the university.  
  • Kids got no less than 3 (average C) on their report cards.

*it is important to note that the new law regarding photographing children is in place were its highly restricted. Because we want to respect the privacy of the children in orphanage and this law, we will only occasionally, when given permission submit photos with our reports.   Hopefully the details of the report are enough to best pain the picture and achievements of this program.

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