Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina in brief
How we help
Post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina faces many social and economic problems. One of the biggest problems of this country is its complex, confusing and fragmented political system. The country remains deeply divided into two political entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska – and the autonomous Brčko District. Fractious political elites often paralyze any joint decisions that could move the country forward and that are crucial for integration into the EU or other structures. While over 50 % of GDP goes to support the public sector, the extraordinarily large state apparatus struggles to perform even basic governmental functions and the country is not able to effectively meet the needs of its citizens (approximately 17 % of the population live below the poverty line - 2011). The citizens are mainly troubled by high unemployment that reaches almost 57 % among young people, and by pervasive corruption.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the first countries in which People in Need began to operate. The war that started in 1992 was the first crucial experience of the newly arising organization, and its humanitarian section in particular. Sending humanitarian workers to the field and trying to help the people living under war conditions was, given the war's duration of almost 4 years, the first long-term and a very demanding project of People in Need.
As part of its humanitarian aid operations, People in Need participated in providing help after the floods in 2014. The floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia took dozens of lives and caused extensive material losses. People in Need sent experienced coordinators to the concerned locations, opened a charitable collection account and distributed material help. In addition, the organization's experts provided consultations to the affected families on how to deal with the impact of the devastating flooding.
Today in Bosnia and Herzegovina, People in Need focuses on development cooperation in the social area, especially with an emphasis on providing services to people with disabilities.
Support of inclusion of persons with disabilities into the society
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the main problem in dealing with persons with disabilities is the predominant emphasis on segregation and institutionalization without adequate personal approach and individual care. Upon admission to a residential institution, people are often deprived of their legal capacity and, along with that, of the possibility to decide about their own lives. Persons with disabilities do not get the opportunity to integrate into the society and the mainstream society is deeply biased against them.
People in Need, together with three selected local NGOs (SUMERO in Sarajevo, Sunce in Mostar and Zajedno in Banja Luka), seeks to change this system towards the so-called deinstitutionalization and to run a campaign that would help the public to overcome their prejudices. As part of their joint project, People in Need mainly provides the transfer of the Czech Republic's know-how and examples of good practice in this area. One of the main goals is to help the clients to move from residential institutions to independent (community) housing that can provide them more dignified social conditions and that increases their chances of self-realization.
By the end of 2017, at least 15 clients will be using the services of the involved NGOs and will be taking advantage of independent living service. As of 2018, 30 clients will be using the services of the involved NGOs. Some of the clients will also be offered an opportunity to upgrade their professional skills, gain new work experience and apply it on the labour market.