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 ESSAY about Association “Education Builds Bosnia and Herzegovina – Jovan Divjak”

1994-2024 / 30 years

On July 28, 1994, 58 citizens of Sarajevo – intellectuals, theatre employees, artists and writers, soldiers, policemen and ordinary citizens established Foundation/Association Educations Builds BiH, whose missions was children of war victims – our permanent concern, a crucial mission reflecting essential consequences of the war – destruction of educational institutions and collapse of the educational system.

After 27 years of work, in 2021, the initiator of the idea, one of the founders and our long-term executive director Jovan Divjak left us. In memory of him, the Association changed its name into the Association “Education Builds BiH – Jovan Divjak”.

In thirty years of work, Associations is on daily service for children victims of war, children/young people with disabilities and talent, children/youth of the Roma national minority and underprivileged children/youth. The Association, with its door always open, has fully fulfilled the major part of its mission – we have primarily provided moral and then material support to children, young people and their parents/guardians of BiH.

61.729 children, youth and their families have used services in the value of BAM 13.571.276,25 (≈EUR 6.938.883,36 / USD 7.456.523,95)[1]:

  • 415 annual scholarships in the total value of BAM 7.641.145 (≈EUR 3.906.855,40 / USD 4.198.306,75) – sholarships for 2023/2024 included.
  • For 1.183 beneficiaries, mothers and young people, we have organized a psychosocial workshops worth BAM011.901,14 (≈EUR 517.376,84 / USD 555.973,14);
  • 469 children and young people have been given support in the form of clothes, school supplies, sports gear and other forms of material support in the value of BAM 3.271.724,11 (≈EUR 1.672.805,97 / USD 1.797.597,27);
  • 662 beneficiaries participated in educational projects in 18 European countries, Canada, Uruguay and at Lake Boračko in BiH; the total value of projects was BAM 1.225.506 (≈EUR 626.591,27 / USD 673.334,96);
  • The Association supported twenty-four schools in BiH by donating various school and sports appliances, IT equipment, books and renovate school buildings and gyms in total value of BAM 000 (≈EUR 215.765,14 / USD 231.861,25).

[1] Up to December 31, 2023 (Scholarship for 2023/2024 included)

We are existing and achieving our goals for thirty years thanks to a large number of donors, sponsors, members and friends from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe, the USA and Australia – individuals, groups, non-governmental organizations, and institutions.

The association is not on the budget of governmental institutions, so it provides funds for scholarships and other activities through: membership fees, organizing philanthropic cultural events (concerts, exhibitions, etc.), publishing activities, educational projects, donations from businesses and individual contributions. It is important to mention that the Association has its own property and material and technical resources, which enables uninterrupted work with beneficiaries.

Most important activities that Association has implemented:

  1. Printing and selling the calendar (25 years)
  2. Overcoming the post-traumatic consequences of children, youth and parents/guardians” (22 years)
  3. Educational – inclusive camp “Lake Boračko“ (19 years)
  4. With education into the future” – support for children and youth of Roma national minority (18 years)
  5. Winter educational camp in Sweden (implemented by AlpinaScand Sarajevo ’84) (7 years)

We are proud of the fact that many have recognized human importance of the Association – the most valuable of all capitals is the one invested in man. Significant funds from which young people have received scholarships for many years, such as the “Pavao Jusuf Urban Ibruljević Fund”, the “Tanja Mihać Fund” and the “Kemal Hasibović Fund”, are particularly noteworthy.

In 2021, we were proclaimed as the Association of Special Importance for the City of Sarajevo and the Association of Public Interest for the Municipality of Novo Sarajevo. We are also proud of the fact that in 2016 we received the Sixth April Award of the City of Sarajevo. In addition, we are holders of the Freedom Award (International Center for Peace), Plaques of the Ministry of Education and Science of FBiH, Golden Plaques of the Municipality of Novo Sarajevo 2010 and 2021, Plaques of the Council of the Congress of Bosniak Intellectuals, Acknowledgments of the University of Sarajevo, BH Telecom Awards for Proud Partners and over 100 letters of thanks from partner organizations and schools. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Association, BH Post Ltd. issued a postage stamp “25 years of the Association Education Builds BiH”.