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Support for Women in Rural Areas

The war in Bosnia (1992 – 95) drove many people from their villages along the Drina. Since then, AMICA e.V. is supporting women from the region Zvornik and their families. Our project house in Tuzla provided a safe haven for many of them during and after the war. When the families returned to their homes we supported the women in establishing agricultural cooperatives. Now they receive further know-how and assistance to develop their "clubs".

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Why We Get Involved - Economic Reconstruction Remains Difficult

During the war many people fled from the region Zvornik. Fifteen years ago, the return of the internally displaced people began. In several villages along the river Drina, women founded agricultural cooperatives, so-called "clubs". Five of them are still working today, but the conditions remain difficult: to date, the region suffers from the economic consequences of the war. Most households are led by single or widowed women. There is a lack of work and training opportunities, access to schools and hospitals, sometimes even of paved roads, bus services to the nearest town or telephone lines. For women in the area it is extremely difficult to open up stalls for their products. Most families live on what they grow on their fields –it´s a life on the breadline.

What We Do – Transferring Knowledge and Networking

We are organizing trainings for the leaders of the clubs as well as for unemployed young professionals from the region. Together, we are developing creative economic activities that can easily be implemented. At the same time we connect the women with other local partners and policy makers. In addition, we are providing psychosocial counselling for the women - most of them survivors of the Bosnian war - and we are training clubs´ leaders in conflict management. Most important is the networking among the clubs to develop a successful strategy for the coming years.

What We Are Achieving - Empowering Women in Rural Areas

We are giving new inputs for the cooperatives and, together with the women, we are developing new concepts and ideas for the future. These perspectives are important because they will improve the livelihood of families and the economic support for the cooperatives in the region. Through psychosocial help we are relieving psychosomatic syndromes many refugees are still suffering from. So, everyday life for many will become a little easier.

The project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung gGmbH, the Federal Foreign Office and by donations to AMICA.

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