In 2014, the Balkans received a month’s worth of rain in a matter of days, leading to the worst flooding in 120 years, the destruction of countless buildings, and the deaths of at least 40 people. The heavy rainfall destroyed BOSFAM’s main workshop in Tuzla and left hard-working women without a way to earn an income. At its peak, BOSFAM had a network of 300-400 women, supporting 25-30 in its workshop each day. After the floods, only 3-4 women could come to weave and the network of women anxiously waited to be able to return. Without the workshop, BOSFAM’s very existence hung in the balance.
After a two-month crowdfunding campaign, including the support of 54 individual donors and multiple events hosted in the U.S., BOSFAM successfully raised $5,254. With the help of local contractors, BOSFAM finished the repairs to its workshop in Tuzla in June 2016.
This opportunity was unique because it was not a handout. The women of BOSFAM are hard-working and wanted to earn their keep, and after years of displacement and hardship were not seeking charity.
By investing in the reconstruction of the workshop, donors were able to support:
- 15-20 women working in Tuzla workshop each day on a rotating schedule to accommodate a wide network of workers.
- 20-25 women working in our Srebrenica center two days a week.
- Wide network totaling 150 women workers.
- Children, elderly parents, and other family members dependent upon women’s incomes.
- Communities rebuilding socially and economically from Bosnian war.