Refugee Situation

Up-to-date information about the refugee situation

Here we collect information about the current refugee situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As there is no official data nor reports from the government or UNHCR, we try to document the status from other organizations and public knowledge. Our sources are well trusted and we check all provided information thoroughly. Most texts are in English and Bosnian.

BBC news report about the refugee crisis in BiH. (06.07.2018)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44709252

Free shop-zajednički prostor u Hrasnici, Sarajevo još uvijek nema ime. (13.06.2018)

English text below.

Prostor je donirao bivši izbjeglica ili, kako se to nazivalo u ovoj zemlji interno ili eksterno raseljena osoba. Ovo je ovisilo o tome da ji su se kretali unutar zemlje ili van granica.  Doniran je kad su prvi migranti počeli pristizati i kad su se smrzavali u parkovima i na ulicama, kao sklonište. Kako nema grijanja i tako je daleko od centra grada, nije bio praktičan. Prvi ljudi koji su stizali su bili primani u kuće, da prežive te ledene noći i dane.

Prostor je postao skaldište za doniranu pomoć, ali, kako su volonteri bili prezauzeti obavljanjem osnovnih poslova potrebnih za preživljavanje, nije bilo osoblja da pomoć sortiraili nešto napravi sa prostorom. Mjesecima su se ideje množile, ali i dalje bez kapaciteta da se pomoć sortira ili prostor prenamijeni.

Tad je stigao BAB i dati su nam ključevi i prepušteno nam je da prostoru nađemo namjenu. I pored sveg našeg posla, uspjeli smo odvojiti par sati svakog dana i tako počeli. Pitali smo više volontera iz Sarajeva da pomognu. Oni su došli, došle su i izbjeglice, čak je i pas potražio sklonište. Više od 10 nacionalnosti je uključeno. Zajendo smo počeli čistiti, graditi police i sortirati doniranu pomoć. Naše pravilo je bilo da se ništa iz prostora ne treba baciti, već mu se naći svrha. Tako smo pretvorili stare mašine u stalke za odjeću. Počela se formirati ideja da se prostor da na upotrebu lokalnoj zajednici i izbjeglicama, da ga koriste zajedno. Da se smiju i upoznaju jedni druge.

Prostor će se bazirati na besplatnoj osnovi, ali će imati kutiju za donacije. Prostor će takođe biti vrsta centralne tačke za timove koji dijele pomoć na ulicama, gdje mogu doći i uzeti ono što im tog trena hitno treba da pomognu ljudima da prežive ili nastave putovanje. napravili smo i randu grupu i strategiju. kako bi prostor bio održiv i prilagodljiv trenutnoj situaciji i potrebama. Sljedeće je bilo  obavijestiti lokalnu zajednicu i obezbijediti njihovu podršku za to što se dešava. Ova zone j jedna od najsiromašnijih u Sarajevu, sa mnogo ljudi koji su bili raseljeni, interno ili ekterno. Mnogo ljudi odavde je ubijeno u zadnjem ratu. Sad će ta zajednica početi pomagati ljude iz današnjih ratova.

Naš rad u podržavanju ove ideje nije gotov. Želimo zahvaliti svima koji su pružili pomoć. Da nešto izgradimo zajedno. To je samo početak.

Free shop/community space at Hrasnica, Sarajevo still without a name.

The donated space was donated by an ex-refugee or in the conflict in this land what was called an internally or externally displaced person. This depended on if they were still on the move within the borders or outside the borders.
It was donated when the first refugees and migrants were arriving and freezing in the parks and streets as a shelter. Due to lack of heating and it being so far outside the city center it was not practical. Those first people arriving were mostly taken into peoples own homes to survive those freezing nights and days.


The space became a storage space for donated aid but as volunteers were so overworked with basic survival needs there were no people to sort the aid or create something out of the space. Over months ideas abounded without capacity to sort the aid or create something.
Then BAB arrived and were given keys to the door and left to our own devices to do something. Amongst all our other work for just a few hours each day we started. We asked for more volunteers in Sarajevo to help. People came, refugees came and even a dog. More than ten nationalities have been involved so far. We all together started cleaning, building shelves and sorting the donated aid. One rule was that anything in the space could not be thrown out, but could be used.

So we converted old machines into posts for clothing racks. An idea started to form that the space would be for the local community and refugees to use the space together. To smile and laugh and get to know each other.


The space will be based on a cashless system, but will have a donation box. The space will also be an emergency point for the street distribution teams to come and grab what is needed to help people survive or continue on their journeys. A working group is being formed and a strategy so that the place can be sustainable and adaptable to present and ongoing needs. Next was to get the local community aware and supportive which is happening. The area is one of the poorest in Sarajevo with many people who were once displaced, internally or externally. Many people were killed there in the last war. Now that community will start supporting people from present day wars.


Our work supporting this idea is not over. We want to thank everyone who has helped support an idea together. To build something together. It is only the start.

Salakovac izbjeglički kamp, pokraj Mostara (13.06.2018)

English text below.

Posjetili smo novi izbjeglički kamp dva puta prošle sedmice, uz dozvolu Ministarstva za ljudska prava. Imali smo ograničen pristup, samo dokle smo podržavali lokalni Crveni križ. Proveli smo sveobuhvatnu procjenu potreba izbjeglica, a to su medicinska pomoć, lijekovi, higijenske potrepštine, odjeća i vitamini. Nakon osnovnih potreba, na red dolazi stvaranje programa poput učenja lezika i sporta. Unutar jedne sedmice smo stvorili loklane i međunarodne mreže da to i obezbijedimo, ali nam je pristup onemogućen, jer komandir kampa tvrdi da nema nikakvih potreba. Znamo za stanovnike kampa koji imaju rak, a nemaju lijekove koji im trebaju. Frustrirajuće za nas je što znamo da možemo odgovoriti na ove potrebe, ali nam je zabranjen ulaz iz nepoznatih razloga.

Salakovac Refugee camp. Mostar.

We visited the new refugee camp twice last week with permission of the ministry of human rights. We had restricted access as long as we supported the local Red Cross. After carrying out an extensive evaluation of the residents needs which are medical support, medicines, toiletries,  clothes and vitamin supplements. Then after basics needs the next was a creation of a program such as language classes and sports. We within a week had created networks locally and internationally to provide all, but our access is now denied by the camp commander who is claiming there are no needs. We know of residents with cancer who are not being supplied the medicines they need. It is frustrating for us to know we can provide the needs of these people but are being refused for unknown reasons.

BAB update regarding our intention to support refugees near Mostar. (31st May 2018).

The refugees and immigrants who were moved from the tent camp in Sarajevo to the official camp at Slakovic near Mostar had told us it is of the best refugee camps they have ever stayed in. The main issue apart from the poor wifi is there is no activities at all for the residents. BAB is hoping to create an extra project of activities during our next projects in Mostar. As you can see from this picture history somehow repeats itself. The camp now offering sanctuary for some people escaping conflict is situated next to a village that was ethnically cleansed during the previous conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Izbjeglice i imigranti koji su iz šatorskog naselja u Sarajevu premješteni un zvanični kamp Salakovac kod Mostara su nam rekli da je to jedan od najboljih kampova u kojem su bili. Glanvi problem, pored slabog wifi-ja je taj što nema nikakvih aktivnosti za stanare. BAB se nada da ćemo uspjeti napraviti projekat i aktivnosti tokom naših sljedećih mjeseci u Mostaru. Kao što možete vidjeti sa fotografije, istorija se donekle ponavlja. Kamp za sad pruža sklonište za neke ljude koji bježe od sukoba smješten je tik do sela koje je bilo etnički očišćeno u prethodnom ratu u Bosni i Hercegovini.

 


News article about political situation. (24th May 2018).

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-in-bosnia-serb-nationalists-see-putin-and-trump-as-their-tickets-to/

Facebook post of BAB volunteers (Around 1.30am 27th May).

Bosnian text below.

In the last two weeks and three days of volunteering with the refugees in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina the last 24 hours were probably the hardest. Last night I saw a refugee/migrant try to kill himself by slitting his wrists after the evening food distribution. Today an Iraqi family returned from the border after apparently being robbed, having their telephones smashed and being hit by the police. Then one of the volunteers we know finally broke after hearing that his refugee friend who was also a volunteer, after losing his legs a few days ago falling off a train, killed himself this morning.
Then at the evening food distribution tonight a passing car stopped and gave a bit of extra food but not enough which almost caused a massive fight. The few volunteers so far working today at that point for 12 hours without any break managed to calm the situation. Then I had 20 minutes to eat, the first food of the day before helping with blanket and shoes distribution. Finished for the day about half an hour ago. Time to sleep before it all starts again tomorrow. forgot to mention even among this sadness we had a volunteer team consisting of Bosnians, Croatians, Spanish, English, Americans building a new free shop/community space which will be for refugees, immigrants and Bosnians to use and share together.

Facebook post BAB volontera (oko 1.30 ujutro 27 maja)

Od zadnjih dvije nedjelje i tri dana sa izbjeglicama u Sarajevu, Bosna i Hercegovina, posljednjih 24 sata su bili vjerovanto najteži. Prošle noći sam vidio izbjeglicu/migranta kako je pokušao sebi oduzeti život sječenjem vena nakon večernje podjele hrane. Danas se porodica iz Iraka vratila sa granice nakon što su, navodno, opljačkani i što im je policija razbila telefone i udarala ih. Jedan volonter kojeg znamo se slomio, nakon što je čuo da je njegov prijatelj, koji je izgubio noge u padu sa voza prije nekoliko dana, izvršio samoubistvo jutros.

Tokom večernje podjele hrane, auto se zaustavilo i doniralo nešto hrane, nedovoljno, što je zamalo izazvalo tuču. Nekoliko volontera, koji su do tog vremene već radili 12 sati, uspjeli su smiriti situaciju. Zatim sam imao 20 minuta da jedem, prvi obrok danas, prije nego nastavim sa podjelom deka i cipela. Moj dan je završio prije pola sata. Vrijeme za spavanje prije nego što se sve to ponovi sutra.

Čak i kroz ovu tugu, tim volontera u kojem su Bosanci, Hrvati, Španjolci, Englezi, Amerikanci je sagradio free shop/prostor za druženje namijenjen izbjeglicama, imigrantima i Bosancima, da ga zajedno koriste i dijele.

24.05.2018.

Here is a great article about the events that took place last Friday regarding a few buses of refugees and migrants and the complicated political situation in Bosnia Herzegovina.

http://kosovotwopointzero.com/en/bosnias-limp-statehood-challenged-by-act-of-police-insubordination/

19.05.2018

Personal perspective from Sonia, who is  one of our amazing volunteers. Bosnian Language below.

Hey everyone,
Just to keep you all updated (as much as I can, as info changes here sometimes hourly never mind daily! hence the lack of updates thus far, as I want the info I give out to be accurate, but hey ho, this is part and parcel of these situations, anyhow, just a little overview from a volunteers perspective…)
So, I arrived in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 days ago with a very small but amazing group of people (just the four of us in total from Bridges Across Across) and over these past 10 days there have been a whole whirl wind of events, situations and emotions.
We arrived not knowing what really to expect but nevertheless expecting more structure and support systems than are actually in place here.
We discovered that the refugees here have very little to no support, there is no presence of any of the big/major NGO’s and there are only very few international volunteers on the ground. They are exhausted, and getting burnt out, so we realised and decided quickly that for the short time we are here, we need to help the volunteers who are here for longer than we are, give them chances to rest if they’ll take it as more and more people arrive daily (often through the night).
There are also the local Bosnian people, who are just brilliant, very generous and kind hearted people doing whatever they can to help, despite living in poverty themselves with a very corrupt and strange political system/structures.
Bosnians have been taking people in, especially families. I hear of one family who took in 80 refugees over the winter to keep them out of having to sleep on the streets or in the park in the -20 temps. It’s actually mental!
We’re seeing and meeting a whole range of refugees; Afghani, Iraqi, Iranian, Pakistani, Kurdish, Palestian, Libyian, Sri Lankan and Syrian. Families, pregnant women, lots of children, babies and single men of all ages. Some of the now ‘adult’ men have been displaced and travelling since they were minors themselves, having spent a few years on Lesvos and have made their way over to here via Albania, Montenegro and/or Kosovo and Serbia.
Many of the people we met, women and children included have been pushed back from Croatia (some multiple times) often with force. I hear lots of the violence inflicted by the Croatian police, in one instance even beating a heavily pregnant woman so badly that she lost her baby and had to give birth to the still-born child, volunteers I have spoken to who directly worked with this family also said that the whole family (including children) was then dropped into and left in a mine field.
Other people I’ve spoken to; Single mothers with young children have told me how they walked for upto 4 days without any food, sometimes along train tracks to make it into Bosnia. They tell me of their journey and how grateful they are that the Bosnian police are ok here and that there are kind-hearted people volunteering who make them feel human and don’t treat them like animals! It’s heartbreaking. Even more so, because i’m thinking, what can we really do to help? We don’t have any tents for them, or blankets (at that time, right at the beginning). I have a smile and a hug, and can play with their kids for an hour or so to at least give them a little break without them worrying too much that their kid isn’t going to be taken or get hurt.
I’m in total awe of the strength of the women I’m meeting, I don’t even know part of many of their stories but I can see it in their eyes their strength. Women my age or younger, with (multiple) kids the same age as my friends’ kids, and I just think woah, I don’t know how we would or even if we could cope in their situation. These kids are so resilient though, they still manage to somehow maintain their playful-ness and innocence and still be kids, which is great to see! And for the mothers, seeing their kids happy makes them happy, which is something at least!
The single guys, as always, are at the bottom of the list, and like I said above, lots of them may now be adults, but they’ve been traveling since they were minors themselves. They are the last to get any kind of support be it a blanket or whatever.
I’m hearing figures of around 1000 Refugees in Sarajevo alone, I cannot confirm or deny whether this is true. But it can’t be far off, if even a little short as more people and families arrive all the time.
Whilst we’ve been here, we’ve networked with volunteers; locals and internationals, and our amazing co-ordinator is actually trying to implement mediation and support structures to get them all working together, as this has proven to be difficult and working relationships had broken down. We’re getting there though!
I’ve mainly been working with kids in a refugee house for families. Attending everyday to keep the stability and structure the same, and also networking with and coordinating other groups to keep these activities going for long after we leave. Of a night time we help out with a food distribution in a separate location in the city where numbers have been 250/300+ (some families, but mainly single men and also some local Roma families).
Over a few nights this past week at the night time food distribution, a lovely group of young lads from Pakistan, around the same age as some of the older teenagers I work with back home have been teaching me Urdu. They’ve been great teachers and not laughing too much at my accent.
We were also going to a local park where there was over 200+ people camped out to play with the kids there.


However, yesterday, the park where we’ve been going to play with the kids and check out what’s been happening with the refugees has been cleared. It’s been on the cards for a few days since Erdogen is coming here to do a political rally tomorrow. Well, yesterday, the first Friday during Ramadan the park was cleared. All the families there and single men where rounded up at 4:30am and coerced on to buses to take them to a camp in Herzegovina. We were told this would happen at 8am, and we got there too late (we arrived at 8am) as they were already gone. Soon after, we got news that the buses traveling with people where not allowed in Mostar, as the police in that Canton had blockaded the road and were sending them back (to where, I, nor anyone else knew). After a very tense few hours, of no news, or no information, well, more than 6 or so hours. We finally heard that all the people on buses had been accepted into Herzegovina and put into a camp near Mostar! And apparently, some say (not to me, but to others with connections) that this camp is the nicest camp that they’ve seen along their route! And the Bosnian police are still being complete and utter babes! Wooop!
Approx 250/270 people were taken to the camp on 4 buses, and if this figure of 1000+ is correct, there are still 700+ people wandering around the city, only now they are really not allowed to have any tents up to sleep in. They never were anyway, but they still did. Only now with Erdogen coming, the governmet are really like – no tents! The nights here are cold, and sometimes rainy – it’s not always so sunny in Sarajevo. It truly is heartbreaking.
Last night at the distro, it was so quiet, (still like 150+ people) and I was wondering what was going on. Until a couple of the guys saw us, came over and was like “oh hey, so you are here, please wait for us, I need to go back and get my friends, they are all hiding!” Yeah, so we’ll see what it’s like later. Also last night, I had a young teenage lad actually cry on my shoulder and when I asked him what was up, why was he crying, he actually said to me, it was because he was so happy to meet someone with such a kind heart who makes them feel human, as along their way there are not always people who treat them so kindly, speak to them like actual people, or take the time just to say hello and smile. They just get treated like animals. It was so hard not to burst out crying. They’re younger than some of the kids I work with ffs! And when people say this to me (which lots have now) my only response is “well, yeah, we all are human, we’re all just people!”

Pozdrav svima,

evo zadnjih informacija (koliko je to moguće, jer se situacija ovdje mijenja nekad iz sata u sat, pogotovo iz dana u dan! Upravo zato se nisam javljao, jer sam htio biti tačan, ali, eto, i to je dio ovakvih situacija, samo mali dio volonterskog pogleda…)

Dakle, stigao sam u Sarajevo, Bosna i Hercegovina prije 10 dana sa malom, ali sjajnom grupom ljudi (samo nas četvoro iz Mostova preko granica – BAB) i ovih posljednjih 10 dana je bio vrtlog događaja, situacija i osjećaja

Stigli smo ne znajući šta da očekujemo, ali ipak očekujući više strukture i sistema podrške nego što toga zapravo ovdje ima. 

Otkrili smo da izbjgelice skoro nemaju ili uopšte nemaju podršku, nije prisutna ni jedna veća/značajnija NVO i na terenu je svega nekoliko međunarodnih volontera. Iscrpljeni su, brzo sagorijevaju, tako da smo shvatili u ovako kratkom vremenu koliko smo tu da trebamo pomoći volonterima koji su ovdje duže od nas, i dati im priliku da se odmore, ako to budu željeli, jer i dalje svakim danom pristiže sve više ljudi (često tokom noći).

Takođe su tu Bosanci i Hercegovci, koji su prosto briljantni, vrlo velikodušni i dobrog srca, i čine šta mogu da pomognu, i pored toga što žive u siromaštvu, sa vrlo korumpiranim i čudnim političkim sistemom i strukturom.

Bosanci su primali ljude, posebno porodice. Čuo sam za jednu porodicu koja je primila preko 80 izbjeglica preko zime, da ne spavaju na ulici ili u prakovima na -20. Nezamislivo!

Vidimo i srećemo cijeli niz ljudi: Afganistance, Iračane, Itance, Pakistance, Kurde, Palestince, Libijce, ri Lankance, Sirijce. Porodice, trudne žene, mnogo djece, beba, muškaraca svih starosnih grupa. Neki do njih, sad “odrasli” muškarci, su raseljeni i putuju otkako sus bili maloljetni, provodeći par godina na Lesvosu i ovdje su došli preko Albanije, Crne Gore i Kosova ili Srbije

Mnogi od ljudi koje srećemo, žena i djece su vraćeni iz Hrvatske (neki po više puta), često uz upotrbu sile. Čujem za dosta nasilja do strane hrvatske policije, u jednom slučaju prebijanje trudne žene tako jako da je izgubila bebu (mrtvorođenu), a volonteri koji su direktno radili sa ovom porodicom kažu da su onda cijelu porodicu, uključujući djecu, ostavili u minskom polju.

Drugi ljudi s kojima sam pričao: samohrane majke sa malom djecom su mi rekle da su hodale sa djecom po 4 dana bez hrane, nekad duž pruge, da bi stigle u Bosnu. Govore mi o svom putu i kako su zahvalne da je policija Bosne korektna, i da ima ljudi dobrog srca, koji volontiraju da im pomognu da se osjećaju kao ljudi, a ne da ih tretiraju kao životinje! Da srce pukne! Još više zato što razmišljam: šta mi stvarno možemo uraditi da pomognemo? Nemamo šatore za njih, deke (u to vrijeme, na početku). Ja imam osmijeh i zagrljaj, i mogu se igrati sa djecom na sat ili dva, da im barem dam mogućnost da predahnu, bez brige da li će im dijete biti oteto ili povrijeđeno.

U potpunosti sam zapanjen jačinom žena koje srećem. Ne znam čak ni djeliče njihovih priča, ali im u očima vidim snagu. Žene mojih godina ili mlađe, sa po više djece, godina kao i djeca mojih prijatelja, i samo mislim: wow, ne znam kako bismo mi i da li bismo uošte se snašli u takvoj situaciji. Ova djeca su tako snažna, nekako uspijevaju uprkos svemu zadržati zaigranost i naivnost i biti djeca, što je divno vidjeti! a za majke, vidjeti svoju djecu sretnu čini njih sretnim, što je barem nešto!

Sami muškarci, kao i uvijek, su na dnu liste i, kao što sam rekao, iako su mnogi od nih sad odrasli, na putu su otkako su i sami bili djeca. I zadnji su u dobijanju podrške, kakve god: pokrivačaili bilo čega.

Čujem brojke da je oko 1000 izbjeglica samo u Sarajevu, ali ne mogu ni potvrditi ni pobiti. Ali, nije ni daleko, možda čak i mala procjena, ako još porodica i ljudi nastavi pristizati. 

Dok smo mi bili ovdje, umrežili smo se sa volonterima, lokalnim i međunarodnim, i naš sjajni koordinator zapravo pokušava medijaciju i pružiti podršku strukturama da ih navede da rade zajedno, jer se pokazalo da je to teško i da su se poslovni odnosi narušili i prekinuli. Ipak, ima napretka. 

Ja pretežno radim sa djecom u izbjegičkom smještaju za porodice. Vodim računa da svakodnevno održavamo stabilnost i strukturu, a radim i na umrežavanju sa drugim grupama da se ove aktivnosti održe i duga nakon što mi odemo. Naveče i noću, pomažemo sa podjelom hrane na drugoj lokaciji u gradu za 250-300 i više (nešto porodica, ali najviše samih muškaraca i nešto lokalnih Roma).

Zadnjih nekoliko noći, grupa divnih mladića iz Pakistana, otprilike istih godina kao i oni s kojima radim kući, uče me urdu. Divni su učitelji i ne smiju se mnogo mom naglasku. 

Idemo i u lokalni park gdje je u šatorima smješteno preko 200 ljudi, da se igramo s djecom. 

Ipak, juče je park gdje smo se išli igrati s djecom i provjeravati šta se dešava sa izbjeglicama, ispražnjen. Već se par dana govorilo o tome, jer Erdogan dolazi da održi politički skup sutra. Dakle, juče, prvog petka u mjesecu Ramazanu, park je očišćen. Sve porodice i sami muškarci su okupljeni oko 4:30 i uvedeni u autobuse da ih prevezu u kamp u Hercegovini. Nama je rečeno da će se to desiti oko 8 sati, i mi smo zakasnili, jer su oni već otišli. Ubrzo zatim, dobili smo vijesti da autobusima nije dozvoljeno da nastave prema Mostaru, jer je policija tog kantona blokirala cestu i šalje ih natrag (gdje natrag, niko nije znao). Nakon nekoliko napetih sati bez vijesti, bez novosti, bez informacija, nekih 6 sati, dobili smo vijesti da su svi ljudi iz autobusa prihvaćeni u Hercegovini i smješteni u kamp blizu Mostara. I, navodno, neki kažu (ne meni, drugima), da je ovo najljepši kamp na koji su naišli duž njihove rute. A bosanska policija je i dalje pristojna i dobra. Woow!

Otprilike 250-280 ljudi je odvedeno do kampa u 4 autobuse i, ako je prva procjena tačna, još oko 700 ljudi luta ulicama Sarajeva, samo što sad ne smiju da podižu šatore za spavanje. zapravo im to nije nikad ni bilo dozvoljeno, ali ipak jesu. Sad, sa dolaskom Erdogana, vlada je zauzela stav da nema više šatora! Noći ovdje su hladne, nekad kišne, nije Sarajevo osunčano svaki dan. Zaista se srce slama. Prošle noći, na mjestu podjele, bilo je tako tiho (ipak, tu je bilo 150 i više ljudi) i ja sam se pitao šta se dešava. Dok nas nekoliko momaka nije vidjelo, došli do nas i rekli “hej, ipak ste tu, molim sačekajte, idem po prijatelje, svi se sakrivaju”. Vidjećemo kako je kasnije. Takođe sinoć, mladić mi je plakao na ramenu. Kad sma ga pitao zašto plače, rekao je da je to zato što je sretan da je upoznao nekoga sa tako dobrim srcem, zbog koga se osjeća kao ljudsko biće, jer tokom njegovog puta, nisu svi dobronamjerni i ne odnose se svi prema njima ljubazno, razgovaraju kao sa ljudima, ili smao ponude osmijeh i pozdrav. Tretiraju ih kao životinje. Bilo mi je teško da ne briznem u plač- Oni su mlađi od nekih tinejdžera sa kojima radim! I kad mi ljudi ovo kažu, (što se dešava često), moj jedini odgovor je “da, svi smo ljudska bića, svi smo ljudi”.

15.05.2018

Analysis of Refugee situation in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina

Bosnian text below.

Bosnia Herzegovina has become the new route for refugees trying to reach Europe. The majority of refugees we are meeting are from Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Kurdish. We are meeting people who fought against Darush and are now escaping ethnic cleansing. We are also meeting some immigrants from Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There are Muslims, Christians and non-religious.

We are meeting many refugees with babies and young children, pregnant women, sick, injured and people with mental health problems and PTSD. We are meeting babies frothing at the mouth which means they are suffering malnutrition and are dehydrated. There are also young single men but the majority seems to be families escaping conflict.

Some have already crossed into Croatia and have been illegally pushed back often with violence.
Some have died trying to swim across rivers in border areas. We have not heard of any injuries or fatalities due to land-mines or un-exploded ordnance so far, which are in many areas in Bosnia Herzegovina.

There is no state support at all from what we can ascertain. As Bosnia Herzegovina is a failed state this cannot be expected. There is almost no support from big NGO’s such as Save the Children, Red Cross, UNHCR, Oxfam etc.
The only support is for families once registered they are housed in hostels by IOM and UNHCR, who do not work during weekends. The hostels are quickly becoming full. There is no housing for single men, even with injuries or mental health issues.
Even though there are refugees who want to stay in Bosnia Herzegovina and apply for asylum here it seems government officials are blocking this. So far no-one has been granted asylum.

It is hard to calculate exact numbers but the food queues lines are growing everyday. At the moment the numbers being fed is in the hundreds.

There is one refugee house that is staffed by volunteers. It is already over capacity and the volunteers are incredibly over worked. This house also has a kitchen that cooks for street distribution for up to 500 people day. This distribution takes place near the train station every evening at 9PM. The food is good and the distribution is carried out by amazing volunteers. It is orderly and the favourite distribution for the refugees. There is never fighting at this distribution. When there is not enough food we half the proportions to make sure everyone is fed. Our BAB volunteers help with this distribution.

In the old part of the city in a park is an illegal refugee camp. It houses numbers in the hundreds. There is no sanitation or washing facilities. There is a food distribution there run by a local NGO that never has enough food and it is a completely inhuman distribution where they beat the refugees with sticks. Violence often breaks out there as there is never enough food to feed all. BAB does not support that food distribution. When families arrive there at night the international volunteers and some local volunteers try to find other places for them to stay as it is not a safe environment. It is unhygienic and the neighbours who once incredibly supportive are becoming unhappy with the situation there.
Many people from Sarajevo deliver food to the park but as there is no distribution point so it creates conflicts.
As Erdogan, the Presidant of Turkey is coming to hold a political rally in Sarajevo it is expected this park will be cleared by the police within the next days. Volunteers are trying to pre-empt this clearance by finding another area so as the refugees do not not experience yet another traumatic event. Our main concern is when we build this camp we have no funding for toilets or washing facilities. Which means it could become a health disaster incredibly fast. We do not have enough volunteers to staff it 24 hours a day, so we cannot offer any protection against violence, rape or child trafficking.

BAB volunteers so far are helping in all aspects of support. This includes food distributions, activities for refugees, finding safer places for families to sleep even in parks, support of existing volunteers who are exhausted, developing support networks within Bosnia Herzegovina and externally and collecting aid. An additional aim is to try to build systems of support and coordination among the local and international volunteers which is a small number of amazing committed people.
Many people from Sarajevo are also trying to help and it is amazing to see. It is reminiscent to the support given in Greece by Greek people.

Our main concern is it is clear the numbers of refugees will increase and many will end up stuck in Bosnia Herzegovina and how that will effect the political situation in the country. The country has still not recovered from conflict, has a non functioning corrupt government and is religiously, ethnically divided. It has severe economic problems due to corruption and organized crime, plenty of weapons and people suffering PTSD. This is what makes the situation in Bosnia Herzegovina very different to the situations in Greece or Serbia regarding the refugee influx.
In short a recipe for disaster.

Needs, Everything.

FUNDING.

Funding for food, toilets, showers, clothes and blanket washing facilities which will all need to be built.
Portaloos can be rented
Doctors and nurses.
People who can work with mental health problems,
Experienced volunteers with knowledge and understanding of the Balkans and the problems facing Bosnia Herzegovina.

Specific items of need:

These items are needed immediately and can be bought locally. An advantage to buying locally is it supports the local economy and through doing so helps to build support for the refugees.

Tents,
Sleeping Bags,
Blankets,
Medicine,
Sanitary products, especially for women,
Shoes and trainers, especially for babies and young children,

Then we need plastic plates, spoons, bags for food distribution. Presently plates and spoons are washed and re-used but as numbers increase this will not become sustainable.

In short we need everything. Please help.

Analiza situacije sa izbjeglicama u Sarajevu, Bosna i Hercegovina, 15.05.2018.

Bosna i Hercegovina je postala nova ruta za izbjeglice koje pokušavaju doći do Evrope. Većina izbjeglica koje srećemo su iz Afganistana, Sirije, Palestine, Irana, Iraka, Libije i Kurdi. Srećemo ljude koji su se borili protiv ISIL-a i sad bježe od etničkog čiščenja. Takođe srećemo imigrante iz Pakistana i Sri Lanke. Oni su muslimani, hrišćani ili ne pripadaju bilo kojoj vjeri.

Srećemo mnogo izbjeglica sa bebama i malom djecom, trudnih žena, bolesnih, povrijeđenih i ljudi sa mentalnim poteškoćama ili PTSP. Srećemo bebe sa pjenicom na ustima od pothranjenosti i dehidriranosti. Ima i mladih muškaraca, ali većinom izgleda da su to porodice koje bježe od sukoba.

Neki su već prešli u Hrvatsku, i ilegalno su vraćeni nazad, često uz upotrebu sile.

Neki su izgubili živote pokušavajući preplivati rijeke an granicama. Nismo čuli za slučajeve povrda ili pogibija od zaostalih mina do sad, iako su minska polja česta u Bosni i Hercegovini.

Ne postoji nikakva državna pomoć, što sa sigurnošću možemo potvrditi. Kako je Bosna i Hercegovina propala država, to se nije moglo ni očekivati. Gotovo da nema nikakve podrške od strane velikih NVO kao što su Save the Children, Crveni križ/krst, UNHCR, Oxfam i sl.

Jedina podrška je za porodice koje se registruju i onda smještaju u hostele preko IOM-a i UNHCR-a (koji ne rade vikendom).

Hosteli brzo postaju puni. Nema smještaja za muškarce-samce, čak ni za one sa povredama ili psihičkim poteškoćama.
Iako ima izbjeglica koje traže azil i žele ostati u Bosni i Hercegovini, izgleda da vladini službenici to blokiraju. Do sad, nikome nije odobren azil.

Teško je izračunati tačan broj, ali su redovi za hranu svakim danom sve duži i duži. U ovom trenu, brojke su u stotinama.

Postoji jedna kuća za izbjeglice koju održavaju volonteri. Već je popunjena preko kapaciteta, a volonteri su na izmaku snaga. Ova kuća iam kuhinju u kojoj se kuhaju obraci za oko 500 osoba dnevno. Podjela obroka se vrši svako jutro u 9 sati u blizini željezničke stanice. Hrana je dobra, a podjelu vrše naši nevjerovatni volonteri. Sve se vodi u miru, a izbjeglicama je ovo omiljena lokacija, jer nikad nema svađe. Hrana je dobra, a podjelu vrše naši nevjerovatni volonteri. Izbjeglicama ova lokacija najviše odgovara, jer se ne dešavaju sukobi – sve je dobro organizovano.
Kad hrane nema dovoljno, smanjujemo porcije proporcionalno, osiguravajući da su svi nahranjeni. Naši BAB volonteri pomažu ovoj distribuciji.

U starom dijelu grada, u parku, nalazi se ilegalni izbjeglički kamp. Ovdje je na stotine ljudi. Nema sanitarnih uslova, ni vode. Svakodnevno se vrši podjela hrane, od strane lokalne nevladine organizacije, ali nikad nema dovoljno hrane, a podjela je potpuno nehumana, jer ponekad izbjeglice udaraju i štapovima. Često dolazi do tuča, jer nema hrane dovoljno za sve. BAB ne podržava tu podjelu hrane. Kad porodice tamo dođu noću, međunarodni i domaći volonteri pokušavaju da im nađu drugo mjesto, jer ovdje nije sigurno. Uslovi su nehigijesnki i susjedi, koji su donedavno nevjerovatno pomagali, postaju nezadovoljni ovakvom situacijom.
Mnogi ljudi iz Sarajeva dostavljaju hranu u park, ali, kako nema jasnih mjesta za podjelu, to izaziva sukobe.

Kako Erdogan, predsjednik Turske, dolazi u Sarajevo da održi politički skup, očekuje se da će se ovaj park raščistiti u sljedećih nekoliko dana. Volonteri pokušavaju da preduprijede ovo čišćenje i pronađu novu lokaciju, kako bi se migranti poštedjeli još jednog traumatičnog iskustva. Naša najveća briga je, i ako uspostavimo kamp, to što nemamo finansije za toalete niti tuševe, što znači da će to vrlo brzo postati prijetnja po zdravlje. Nemamo volontera da obezbijedimo 24 sata vođenje kampa i brigu, tako da ne možemo ponuditi nikakvu pomoć u zaštiti od nasilja, silovanja ili trgovine djecom.

Dosad, BAB volonteri pomažu u svim aspektima. To uključuje podejlu hrane, aktivnosti za izbjeglice, pronalaženje sigurnijih mjesta za spavanje, makar i u parkovima, podrška volonterima koji su iscrpljeni, razvijanje mreže podrške u Bosni i Hercegovini i izvan nje u prikupljanju pomoći. Dodatni cilj je da pokušamo napraviti sistem podrške i saradnje među lokalnim i međunarodnim volonterima, kojih je jako mali broj, ali su svi izuzetno posvećeni.

Mnogo ljudi iz Sarajeva pomaže i to je divno vidjeti. To podsjeća na pomoć i podršku Grčkoj i Grke.

Naša glavna briga je to što je jasno da će se broj izbjeglica povećavati i mnogi će ostati zarobljeni u Bosni i Hercegovini, i kakav će to imati uticaj na političku situaciju u zemlji. Država se još nije oporavila od sukoba, ima nefunkcionalnu korumpiranu vladu i vjerski je i etnički podijeljena. Ima vrlo teške ekonomske problem, zbog korupcije i organizovanog kriminala, mnogo je oružja i PTSP-ja. Zbog toga je situacija u Bosni i Hercegovini sasvim drugačija od onih u Srbiji ili Grčkoj, vezano za priliv izbjeglica.

Ukratko, recept za katastrofu.

Potrebno: SVE

FINANSIJE.

Finansije za hranu, toalete, tušđeve, odjeću i mjesto za pranje pokrivača, sve to mi trebamo izgraditi.
Privremeni toaleti s emgou iznajmiti.
Doktori i sestre.
Osobe koje mogu raditi sa osobama sa mentalnim poteškoćama
Iskusni/e volonteri/ke sa poznavanjem i razumijevanjem Balkana i problema Bsone i Hercegovine

Specifične potrebe:

Ovo su stvari koje nam hitno trebaju i mogu se nabaviti lokalno. Prednost nabavke ovih potrepština lokalno je podrška lokalnoj ekonomiji, a, kroz to, podrška i pomoć izbjeglicama

Šatori
Vreće za spavanje
Deke/pokrivači
Lijekovi
Higijesnki proizvodi, posebno za žene
Cipele/patike i trenerke, posebno za bebe i mlađu djecu

Zatim nam trebaju plastični tanjiri, pribor za jelo, vrećice za podjelu hrane. Sad se koriste tanjiri i kašike koje se peru i ponovo koriste, ali, kako se broj povećava, ovo neće biti održivo.

Ukratko, treba nam svega. Molimo za vašu pomoć.

13.04.2018

News from ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles)

Interview: Arrivals in Bosnia- underfunded, under pressure but understanding

 

09.04.2018

Here is a report from Pomozi.ba about their current work in Sarajevo. This is the local NGO we intend to partner with.

http://pomozi.ba/    https://www.facebook.com/pomozi.ba/

It is estimated that there are cca 1050 migrants currently in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The number is constantly changing because some of them try to get to EU countries and at the same time new migrants are entering Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a network of volunteers from our country and Europe we provided accommodation for about 300 migrants on three locations:

Ilidža – accommodation for 100 to 120 people (this location is being used for families with children);

Nebočaj close to Smizovac – accommodation for about 100 to 130 people (this location is used for male migrants in two separate houses);

Hostel The Doctors house – initial accommodation for incoming migrants before we send them to one of the two previously mentioned locations.

For these people we ensured food, medical care, clothes, legal assistance and other things they need for unhindered stay in our country. Every day we are also cooking and distributing meals for the migrants that live on the streets (currently for about 200 of them). Our biggest obstacles are capacities for accommodation or funds for accommodation of incoming migrants.

The information we are getting from our friends and partners from Greece and Serbia are not optimistic. On the Greek islands there is still about 15.000 migrants that will continue towards Bosnia and Herzegovina when the weather becomes warmer. We are concerned that a lot of migrants will enter our country even though our country is not prepared for that. Our estimation is that during the summer a minimum of 3.000 migrants will enter Bosnia and Herzegovina (that’s around 200% more than now).

Nongovernmental organization definitely cannot handle this situation on their own and we hope that the government will activate the action plan on migrants they created two years ago. That would help improve the situation. If that does not happen on time the country will have a big problem.