Inside the Center:

Now equipped with rooms for legal advocates, psychiatrists and computer classes, now funding is the main struggle for success at BOSFAM’s Srebrenica Center.

The BOSFAM center in Srebrenica has over 70 women on its list of weavers. However, due to low funding a low sales only a handful of them are able to generate income from the center. Srebrenica remains a shell of its former self, yet BOSFAM continues to search for new ways to breathe life into this high mountain town.

Photo taken by: Claire Noone, Advocacy Project Peace Fellow Bosnia-Herzegovina 2012

While in Tuzla I am volunteering for an organization called BOSFAM.  BOSFAM essentially provides economic and social support for women displaced by the war in Bosnia.  Everyone here has lost loved ones to the war; husbands, sons, brothers…most as a result of the genocide in Srebrenica.

Instead of looking for handouts, the women of BOSFAM make traditional Bosnian handicrafts (primarily rugs and knit goods), so that they may sell them to support themselves and what family they have left.

I’ll be posting a lot more about BOSFAM in the next few weeks, but if you want to know more now this is their website.

Above is the entrance to the BOSFAM center, which has a sales gallery at street level,  giant looms and offices on the first 2 floors, apartments on the top floor (for volunteers like Alison and me to sleep in).

The BOSFAM center in Srebrenica has over 70 women on its list of weavers. However, due to low funding a low sales only a handful of them are able to generate income from the center. Srebrenica remains a shell of its former self, yet BOSFAM continues to search for new ways to breathe life into this high mountain town.

Photo taken by: Claire Noone, Advocacy Project Peace Fellow Bosnia-Herzegovina 2012

Saturday BOSFAM had a Bazaar for International Women’s Day (which is actually March 8th).  BOSFAM Bazaars basically consist of coffee, cookies, chatting, more coffee, and a bit of buying. A little more buying would have been nice but it was great none the less.

On that note if you are in the market for some handmade socks/mitten/hats/scarves/sweaters/rugs let me know!  Or go to the BOSFAM website.

This is the Pigeon Coop next to BOSFAM.  Wikipedia tells me that people have practiced pigeon keeping for about 10,000 years, and people that keep pigeons are reffered to as “pigeon fanciers”.

Apparently Mike Tyson has been a pigeon fancier his whole life.

Every day at 9 and 1 we all sit around at BOSFAM and drink lots and lots of coffee (kafa). It’s my favorite.

Everyone has flowers in this photo because it’s from March 8th, International Women’s day.  I had never even heard of International Women’s day before coming here, but it’s a rather big deal here.  According to Wikipedia it started as a socialist political event…but now it’s kind of a valentines day / mothers day mash up.

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