Stipan at Dean Awards ceremony
Scholarship and Personal Development Program
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.
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