Our students residency at Ciders Sinai
Scholarship and Personal Development Program
July- September 2015
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.
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
Bosana team building in Bihac
Our student completes summer law program in Brno