Thursday January 28, 2021

In Bosnia and Herzegovina communities are still living with the after-effects of war. Today, the country is one of the poorest in Europe, with over a quarter of people unemployed. For young people, the figure sadly rises to 1 out of every 2.

With many female-headed households struggling with the loss of male breadwinners and a lack of financial opportunities, around 17% of people live below the national poverty line.

With families struggling to survive, young men are quick to leave education in search of work. As a result, girls are 10% more likely to attend higher education than boys.

However, there is hope. Alhamdulillah, we’re working across Bosnia to help families in need.

Our orphan sponsorship programme is providing a means to support these families. In Bosnia, a total of 1,158 orphans are benefitting from our 1:1 orphan sponsorship programme.

Half of those sponsored live in the capital Sarajevo, with the remainder in Tusla in the north of the country.

Meet Amina: Building a bright future through education

Amina with her mother Seherzada.

When Amina first came to Islamic Relief, she was very young. Her family were like most other families in the region – they were struggling with poverty and needed support.

Amina’s father had died in the war when she was just seven months old. He was the imam at the local mosque but was killed in the conflict.

Amina’s mother, Seherzada, was devastated after his death. If fact, she didn’t want to live.

She struggled with depression, but being a mother, she knew she had to do her best to raise her children:

All those things [troubles] do affect, you but over time you can’t let that hold you down. You have to overcome the pain…

God knows what we can handle and why we need to go through certain things. My heart goes out to everyone who grew up or is growing up in orphan families.

However, having lost their only breadwinner, the family had no income and were struggling to survive.

That’s where our orphan sponsorship programme helped to change their lives for the better. Through our sponsorship scheme, Amina’s family received enough money to allow her to carry on studying at school.

Now 20 years old, she has finished International High School and is studying economics. She loves drawing, reading and learning new languages and speaks four: Arabic, Turkish, English and – of course – Bosnian. In her free time, she works as a translator.

What’s more, Amina’s brother Ahmed was also sponsored by Islamic Relief and now runs his own business, whilst her other brother Mustafa also attends university.

Of course, their mother is very proud of them all:

The happiest people are those who love others and those who allow others to love them.

I just want my children to grow up knowing and loving God, to be healthy and to live a happy life.

Alhamdulillah thanks to your support, Amina and her brother have been able to gain a critical education and start working towards a future free from poverty in which they can support themselves and their mother:

I would like to thank you [Islamic Relief] for the regular help I have been receiving from you. It’s very helpful for my family and me.

When I grow up I would like to be like you – helping children and those in need. (Amina)

Thank you for your continued generosity. It’s due to your donations that we’re able to help children and young people like Amina and her brother across Bosnia and all over the globe.

Right now, we’re helping over 72,000 orphans worldwide, providing food, shelter, health care and education to children in need. And this is all thanks to you.

Thank you for your continued support. You truly are life-savers.

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