Hrasnica Community Centre, Sarajevo
The Community Centre (Otvoreni Centar) in Hrasnica, a suburb of Sarajevo, is the only place in the town for young people and children to spend their free time without being on the streets. Through a combination of educational and recreational activities for children the centre is able to provide Art, English and IT classes, as well as health advice for the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse. Although the centre is equipped with materials and activity packs for the children, this comes almost entirely from contributions from previous OXAB volunteers. All money raised by our OXAB Bosnia volunteers goes directly to the Hrasnica community center, allowing our volunteers to have a direct impact on children's lives, both in the short run as volunteers and in the long run through fundraising.
During the morning volunteers are free to organise sessions with the children and they have access to a classroom and the sports centre. Generally the sessions run from 10 am to 12/1pm. During the after-noons volunteers are free to explore the area or if they like can provide more sessions for the children.
Arts and crafts in Hrasnica, a popular activity!
OXAB have been organising aid to refugees in and around Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) ever since the war in the early 1990s, and unlike many other charities which have moved on to more recent flashpoints, we continue to help those affected by the conflict, two decades on. The country was torn apart by the war, with huge flows of refugees as communities with a mixed ethnic background were violently separated into their constituent groups, by various militias and armies engaging in “ethnic cleansing”. Needless to say, the war also resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, from all ethnic groups, leaving many people, including children, without family or friends. The need for aid continues to be felt by children growing up in a ravaged and very poor society. OXAB provides volunteers to run sessions in the community centre, with out which there would be nothing for the children to attend during the holidays.