Thursday, June 8th – Meeting with Seida Saric from Women for Women International, Sarajevo

Met with

Seida Saric Women for Women, Serbia

, Director of Women for Women International in Sarajevo.  Women for Women started in Sarajevo in 1994 and moved on to establish branches in seven other post-conflict countries: Rwanda, Kosovo, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The delegation was particularly interested in learning the types of training Women for Women offers women in Bosnia. Seida outlined for us a wide range of training programs, including training in life skills, English, computer skills, (pragmatic) education on women’s human rights, technical skills (i.e.keymaking, upholstery, painting homes, weaving, tailoring, planting, and  agriculture) as well as businesss and entrepreneurial training (i.e. bookkeeping, financial planning, promotion, and grant writing).

Every woman receiving training services through Women for Women has a sponsor.  The Sponsorship program is administered from a central office in Washington, DC.  Sponsors donate $30 a month: $10 in cash for expenses and $20 toward the training program.  Sponsors exchange letters, monitoring the progress of their sponsee.  Seida pointed out that many of the sponsors for the Women for Women are American women, but that out of the eight countries mentioned above, Bosnia attracts the fewest sponsors.  Seida’s sense of this is that because of Bosnia’s superficial appearance of “normalcy” in spite of the tragedy it has suffered, there is a common misperception that Bosnia’s problems have begun to be solved since the ending of the war.  There is often a lack of understanding of the poor economic status and government support of women until they visit Bosnia and see up close the seriousness of women’s situation.

Seida hopes to maintain a relationship with AWIU and to be available as a resource for women and NGO’s we have met with on the current delegation as well as for women we encounter on future delegations.  She is also interested in exploring projects we may be interested in pursuing with her as an organization.

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2 Responses to “Thursday, June 8th – Meeting with Seida Saric from Women for Women International, Sarajevo”

  1. David Chamberlain Says:

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.

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  2. annetonks@yahoo.com Says:

    Mary: Your comment and your question about how we prevent this from happening again is what I think AWIU and our delegations and other programs is all about. When we UNDERSTAND each other as human beings even if we don’t agree we are more likely to treat each other with respect. When we UNDERSTAND are commonality of living life with friends and family and work are similar all over the world then we UNDERSTAND we are all in it together on the plant.

    And we need to honor eacfh other as people. How great is that? Anne

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