Hello from Sarajevo!

…Or dobar dan (good afternoon) as we should say! We have eagerly been learning the Bosnian language during our stay!  Project 1948 is about halfway through our journey in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the time we have spent here so far has been incredible! Over the past week, Project 1948 has been processing how to effectively reach Bosnian young adults, while handling the developmental and administrative work of a foreign NGO.  This process has allowed us to cross paths with other working NGOs that are located here, while building relationships with foundations that have worked in the Sarajevo area for many years.  This knowledge has given Project 1948 an insight into the advancements that need to be put in place for our Project to be implemented efficiently.  Project 1948 has had the opportunity to collaborate with the UNDP (United Nations Developmental Programme), the PCRC (Post Conflict Research Center), and SHL House of Sarajevo.  These organizations have seen the Bosnian young adults’ struggle first-hand, and have developed practical ways to create awareness, cultivate reconciliation, and provide opportunities for their stories to be heard.  Project 1948’s future status as a year-round functioning NGO in Bosnia will hopefully be put into motion in the upcoming year with a Bosnian office space, continued paperwork, and cultivating relationships with Bosnian partners. 

With the productive week we have left planned in Sarajevo, Project 1948 is now turning to focus more on maintaining connections with the Bosnian young adults, as well as implementing the “Cup of Peace” curriculum.  These interviews will allow us to get a grasp on the how to continue to build future peace within the community, and give an opportunity for the students to be recognized as essential pieces in the future of Bosnia.  Wish us the best as our adventures of gelato, Ćevapi (traditional Bosnian dish), and building peace continue!

Josie Halsmer