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...
Jan 12, 2016

Quarterly Report October - December 2015

BOSANA FOUNDATION

Quarterly Report October – December 2015

"Afterschool program" at Zenica orphanage


Instructional classes

October month has been very active because the children went to school and had a big problem with mastering the curriculum. For most, there was a need for instruction in mathematics, English, German language, physics and chemistry for students in 8th and 9th grades of elementary school and for secondary school students. Instructional classes in October, November and December were attended by 75 children from the orphanage. We consider this a great success because 50 children fixed and/or improved their grades. In particular its worth mentioning that one beneficiary had such terrible grades in mathmatics that he was ashamed to go to class. After few months of intensive instructions several times a week the beneficiary received a B in his math class. This is to show the persistancy of our volunteers to help our beneficiaries master the classes and gain better knowledge.

Statement by one of our volunteers: “I'm glad I joined the team of volunteers helping children at Zenica orphange to achieve better results as each of them do when they receive enough attention and time. So many of them are really smart and after a short while improvements are clearly evident. For the two months I volunteered, a large number of children with bad grades drasticaly improved and even received higher ratings as proof of quality and good work with them, and of course their interest in working with us. I am proud of this and it's beautiful to work with the children and thus help them and to see them happy and satisfied.”

Creative workshops and learning foreign languages
The children in addition to instruction in October, November and December have had the opportunity to attend educational and creative workshops and courses in foreign languages. In early October, we formed a group of 15 girls and 10 boys, which met twice a week where they were able to make a variety of decorative gift items for the New Year holidays and the holidays that are nearing. This workshop was conducted by four volunteers and each of them worked with 6 students. This is very interesting for children as it gave them the opportunity to express their talents, be creative and see their work at the end. For three months we also held courses in English and German which was of great interest among children especially older high school students. Beneficiaries also participated in the “Hour of code” in the month of November and December and had the opportunity to learn programming. Since we do not have computers in the orphanage, we organized an educational trip for 25 children from the orphanage to travel to Sarajevo where we had an hour of programming to the CSPC. The children were delighted with this journey and they had an opportunity to learn something new from programming. With this we would like to encourage more children to learn and fight for themselves.

Entertainment, and events for the holidays

In addition to instructional classes, educational and creative workshops for the beneficiaries, we also treated them to some fun by celebrating the holidays and the New Year. In December, we organized Christmas celebration, New Year and a karaoke show where the children were enthusiastic and many children attended these parties. Christmas was celebrated in the club house where we bought them sweets, cakes, and the girls who participated in the creative workshops brought cookies that were made by them and the volunteers at workshops. The greatest joy for them was when we had prepared New Year's party, which lasted about 5 hours where children with the volunteers had a great time. They had a chance to demonstrate their talent with karaoke and about a dozen children sang and competed who is better at singing, and the best ones have received well-deserved awards. At the end of the party, children were delighted and wished that the party lasted longer.   They told us that no one so far has made such a good and nice New Year's party.

Success in these months:

• About 50 children drastically improved their grades.

• High interest of children for regular homework, learning and adopting new materials

• High school students improved their grades in mathematics.

• Utilized free time in a useful way through creative workshops

• Displaying talents in singing and playing music

• Launched the world to learn about programming and made the first stand-alone application

• Beneficiaries have acquired the competence to work alone on decorations, objects, etc ..

 

Plan to do in the following months:

• Winter Break (educational tours, language courses and programming)

• instructional classes (for students who have problems with learning)

• Education and empowerment of the beneficiaries

• Creative workshops, quizzes.

• Starting the music workshops and the establishment of a band.

Jan 12, 2016

Quarterly Report October -December 2015

Stipan at Dean Awards ceremony
Stipan at Dean Awards ceremony

BOSANA FOUNDATION

Scholarship and Personal Development Program

Quarterly Report

October-December 2015

Executive Summary:

Last quarter of the year tends to be slower than the rest of the year. Bosana students are getting closer to the end of semester, finishing their classes and starting to prepare for exam season. At the end of the quarter they are taking midterms which are requirement to be able to take exams in January exam season. Two Bosana students graduated in first month of the quarter and are ready for the next big step in their lives.

Students and Program Update:

Most lectures are concluded by the end of December, and during the December students are taking midterms. Success in midterms will allow our students to take final exams in January and February. Results we have so far are promising, majority of our students passed their midterms and now are studying for the final exams.

Bosana students are studying at various locations and universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so their exams schedule differ. Majority will have their final exams in January; some of them are still taking midterms and will take final exams the end of January or in February. All in all, we will have all results by the end of February.

Bosana offers to our student’s option to take tutoring, and some of them decided to use this opportunity and prepare better for upcoming exam season. We are very confident that this year will be the best one yet. This group of students is very dedicated and determined to complete all their tasks and graduate as soon as possible. They are trying really hard to finish everything in due time.

Highlights of the quarter:

  • One of our students from the first generation of Bosana students has finally graduated in the first week of October. He was studying philosophy and social services and is currently completing a year long internship through ERASMUS program in Austria working with special needs children and elderly.
  • Another Bosana student, Sajdin who completed Interior Design major from Art Academy in Sarajevo also graduated in October. Sajdin’s final project was so superb that it ended up being the best one ever done by a student in this department. Professors invited everyone to attend his project defense and Sajdin is hoping that this project will allow him to complete his masters abroad.
  • One of our students in Sarajevo received a laptop, a donation from a donor that has been supporting Bosana since its inception.
  • An article was published about voluntary work of youth on the website “Nove generacije”. They published several stories and one of them was about Milena, Bosana student and her voluntary work in this organization. The organization where she volunteers focuses on helping high risk children with homework and studying, but they also leave some room for playtime. Milena talked about the work she is doing and how much volunteering and helping these children changed her point of view on life.
  • One Bosana student studying medicine at University of Mostar, received the Dean’s Award for best first year student due to his perfect GPA. Stipan has been the exemplary student since the day he was accepted to Bosana family and this year he also received Bosana’s student of the year award as well as a monetary award.
  • “Social Entrepreneurship among BiH youth” is the first Bosana project that was done in collaboration with US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of this project was to provide professional trainings through workshops, lectures and hand-on experience on topic of youth activism and social entrepreneurship to at least 60 beneficiaries ages 18-25 across both entities in BIH to empower them to become change makers in their own local communities.

Project had four (4) stages: lectures and workshops for 30 Bosana students about social entrepreneurship and activism, workshops and lecture on how to execute your own socially entrepreneurial project and how to get others to help you, realization of four (4) mini projects that encourage social entrepreneurship among the youth and creation of brochures and website to share ideas and best practices developed during the project. There were four (4) winner out of nine (9) teams that participated in project. Team number one was from Bihac, and the other three teams were from Tuzla, Kakanj and Mostar.

Bihac team fundraised more money to be able to finish their warning signs that were supposed to be placed on the banks of Una River. They will place warning signs for tourists and local residents, marking the areas where Una river is not safe for swimming. They have received support from local authorities and were promised financial help to complete this project.

Kakanj team organized an exhibit of photos taken by cell phones. The idea was to encourage young people to use their phones for smart things; taking creative photos of nature and historical sites, memories from childhood etc. They also held award ceremony for winners of this contest in mid-October.

Mostar worked with children during their project realization. Their project was called “Djetinjstvo je tako sretno, samo zato sto nista ne zna…ili?” and the goal was to help and improve living space in orphanage “Egipatsko selo”. They held workshops to encourage creativity in children and to help them develop self-esteem.

Tuzla organized a workshop “Zajedno preko prepreka” created as a part of the project addressing issues of youth in their community. This is for the entire group of young people with disability or without disability, young people who are faced with various issues each day. This workshop should help them identify these issues and together find solutions for the same. This team also painted a wall in a local disability center to improve the area where these young people spend a lot of time. They have used their money to buy supplies for painting, because people that are staying in this center spend most of their time painting or using some other way to express themselves creatively.

Bosana students for Humanity:

Bosana students continue to help their local communities every month. It is turning into a long term project and now they have created their own logo. Every month they give portion of their scholarship and Bosana matches the amount so they can help families in need. Each month students choose families in different cities.

Since October was the beginning of the academic year and some students graduated while some were placed on probation due to their academic success, students agreed to skip this month. They were not sure how many will still be participating in their humanitarian project.

November was reserved for city of Tuzla. Students agreed that they should help a young boy whose family was trying to collect the money for his hospital bills. Little boy named Stefan has congenital heart defect and his treatment costs about 10,000 euros because it has to be done abroad. His family doesn’t have that kind of money and fundraising campaigns were organized across the country. Bosana students donated November amount to Stefan’s medical fund.

In December students decided to help someone in city of Bihac. Nadja had a great idea to buy supplies for someone who will knit scarfs, hats and mittens for children. She also bought candy and prepared gift bags with sweets and scarfs/mittens for little children whose parents did not have money to give the gift bags for New Year’s Eve. That way they would help a lady who is in need of a job and at the same time brighten up a holiday for little kids. Actors from a local theatre dressed up as a bunny and a bear, so they had a lot of fun singing songs and playing with them. She found these kids through local center for social work, and lives of twenty (20) little kids were happy and carefree for at least that one day.

Challenges:

This quarter did not present any significant challenges for the Bosana staff. All students were taking classes and studying hard. They completed their voluntary hours and four teams that had to complete their projects worked tirelessly to finish them on time. Beginning of next quarter will be a bit more stressful due to final exams, but the end of this quarter, when our students took midterms, was very good. Majority passed their miters and is ready to take their final exams.

Donor driven update worth mentioning:

Irnela B., a new Bosana mentor organized fundraiser in Texas in collaboration with Humanity First organization. Fundraiser was very successful and well received. Bosana has so many supporters, and if half of them decided to organize a small gathering to fundraise for scholarships, our students would secure their scholarship until the graduation. We encourage our donors to pay attention to these small fundraisers and maybe consider organizing one on their own.

On January 30 2016, another group of Bosana supporters in Phoenix Arizona will organize a fundraiser to help raise funds for Bosana Scholarship. We are excited to see how successful their event will be.

Student project logo
Student project logo
Oct 12, 2015

Quarterly Report June - September 2015

Our students residency at Ciders Sinai
Our students residency at Ciders Sinai

 

 

BOSANA FOUNDATION

Scholarship and Personal Development Program

Quarterly Report

July- September 2015

 

Executive Summary:

Third quarter was both exciting and vital for our students and their studies because the end of this quarter, for many of our students may define the whole upcoming academic year depending on how they complete their exams. It was the time to study and relax but also a time that Bosana organized a project supported by the US Embassy in BIH and our student gathering/teambuilding. We have also successfully completed our first summer camp “Back to Nature” in Vlasic Mountain. All in all, our students and Bosana staff had a fruitful and busy few months.

Students and Program Update:

Scholarship and Personal Development Program

Third quarter for all of our forty-two (42) students starts with summer vacation but it ends with exams and official end of the academic year. Therefore, second part of the quarter is busy and stressful. Students are taking final exams and by the end of September they generally know if they will qualify to transition to the next academic year or if they will have to repeat the year. Bosana staff is extremely proud to have more and more graduates; few students graduated last quarter, and this quarter we had two that graduated in September and two more that will graduate in the first week of October. This year significant number of students passed all exams and not only qualified to transition to next year but passed all exams with flying colors. It has been a prosperous academic year!

Unfortunately, we also have three of our students who will have to repeat the year for the second time, which means that they are losing their scholarship. We also have two students that are waiting on results, and they should be known in the first two weeks of October. However, these two students are positive that they will pass their exams and continue their studies without interruption.

This summers bi-annual Bosana student gathering was organized by our students Adnan, Denis and Nadja from Bihac and Bosanska Krupa who proposed the best idea for our gathering and team building. Students visited National Park "Una" and famous waterfall "Strbacki buk" and they learned about the history and natural beauty of Bihac and Bosanska Krupa. Aside from sightseeing, the students took part in various team-building activities.  The whole idea was to spend this weekend outdoors so the students had to cook together, sleep in tents and they played team-building games on the banks of Una River. Brave few even decided to swim in the cold and very wild river. 

As we do each time, students voted on their favorites during the gathering and four students were rewarded with 50KM cash for: “Bosana’s newest discovery”, “the life of the party”, Bosana’s Ambasador and “Best Buddy”.

In the end, students were sad that this gathering lasted only over the weekend, especially since campfire was on the list of planned activities, but the one night they spent in camp it was raining and they never managed to do it. T hey had so much fun that few students even decided to come to the camp next year to volunteer.

Furthermore, each year, Bosana rewards a best student based on his/her academic achievement, volunteerism and their timely response with Foundation. This year, our best student award was given to our student Stipan who also received 500KM for his great academic achievement. A first year medical student, Stipan passed all his exams with straight As all year long.

Summer Camp Project:

Summer camp “Back to Nature” organized in Travnik and Vlasic Mountain was completed very successfully. This is a pilot project that was available only to a small group of attendees of 30 children ages 10-14 and it success showed us that it has a potential to grow in the years to come. Four of our Bosana students worked as counselors and they were so positively overwhelmed by the camp and its positive effects not only on them but also on the beneficiaries. Children were able to reconnect with nature and spend time away from all the electronic distractions of the world we live in today. Project received support from municipality of Travnik, Ministry of Refugee and Migration and local media and it seems that next year will bring more participants and support from different organizations, as well as BIH Diaspora.

“Social Entrepreneurship among BiH youth” Project

This project sponsored by the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina has a goal to provide professional trainings through workshops, lectures and hand-on experience on topic of youth activism and social entrepreneurship to at least 60 beneficiaries ages 18-25 across both entities in BIH to empower them to become change makers in their own local communities.

Project had four (4) stages: lectures and workshops for 30 Bosana students about social entrepreneurship and activism, workshops and lecture on how to execute your own socially entrepreneurial project and how to get others to help you, realization of four (4) mini projects that encourage social entrepreneurship among the youth and creation of brochures and website to share ideas and best practices developed during the project.

Last workshop was held on September 12th and out of nine (9) teams that participated in project, four (4) were winners. Team from Bihac was the winner of the first place. Their project focuses on informing tourists of danger that Una river can bring. They will place warning signs for tourists and local residents, marking the areas where Una is not safe for swimming. The other three teams are from Tuzla, Kakanj and Mostar, all Bosana students who will see that they also realize their projects that will be beneficial for their communities.

Highlights of the quarter:

  • In September, our student from Tuzla studying Physical Education has defended his diploma paper and became one more Bosana graduate. He was accepted to Bosana Foundation in 2010, the first group of students, and we are very excited to see him graduate.
  • Our student Ajna who studied law at the University of Sarajevo has officially graduated last day in September. Ajna was accepted to Bosana family in 2012 and she is hoping to continue her studies and complete her master’s degree.
  • Our students Haris and Sajdin will also be graduating in the first week of October.
  • Bosana helped our student, Anela with her traveling expenses to attend a conference in Italy because she was honored for her volunteer work with Inter-religious Youth Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Anela spent two weeks in Italy volunteering and working with children.
  • Two Bosana mentors to our students Ivana and Selma in September invited them to come to Los Angeles to visit and complete a two-week residence at the Cedar Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. Ivana and Selma were able to meet medical staff, see first-hand how certain procedures are done, familiarize themselves with new equipment used in this respectable institution. This was a dream come true for these two medical students. More importantly, they were able to learn novelties in their field of study and visit all tourist attractions in Southern California during these two weeks.

 

  • Our student Imane used her Bosana professional development fund to attend summer school in Brno, Czech Republic. It was a weeklong summer school organized through European Law Students Association. She attended lectures and interactive workshops thought by Masaryk University esteemed professors. Lecture topics focused on IT law, issues that emerged from technology use, and how to follow world trends on this particular issue. This kind of class is not offered at her university. Imane received certificate for this school and 5 ECTS points that she will be able to use for next school year.

Bosana students for Humanity project:

Bosana students continue to help their local communities every month. It is turning into a long-term project and now they have created even their own logo to represent their project. Every month they give portion of their scholarship and Bosana matches the amount so they can help families in need. Each month students choose families in different cities.

July was reserved for Sarajevo. Our students Lejla, Amila and Ajna visited a local organization providing help to at-risk children and chose five (5) families that needed basic necessities like food and hygiene products, and prepared packets for each family.

In August, students split the money between Jajce and Kakanj. Our student Amir represented our students in Jajce and helped one family with basic supplies. In Kakanj, Amila and Armel bought food and school supplies for two families.

September was reserved for Maglaj were our students Edis and Sanela visited two families in Maglaj and bought all necessary food items that families needed.

Challenges:

Third quarter is usually very stressful for our students. If they did not pass all their exams in June and July they will get another chance to take them in August or September, at the same time this is their last chance to qualify for transition to the next year. If they don’t qualify they will have to wait a whole year and prepare only for few exams they have left, but it also means that they are losing scholarships. We are proud to say that we had a lot of students that passed all their exams in June and July some completed the last few exams in September; however, we did have some students waiting until the last day of September not knowing if they are going to qualify or not. In the end majority of our students will be transitioning to next academic year.

our student in Pisa, Italy
our student in Pisa, Italy
Bosana team building in Bihac
Bosana team building in Bihac
Our student completes summer law program in Brno
Our student completes summer law program in Brno

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