Friday, May 17, 2019

A little bit of Help!

Jennifer Stone-Wigg (MBE), born 27th march, 1942, was born in England but have been based in Lugano, Switzerland for over 5o years as well as in Bosnia during the last 25 years. Her focus during the last 25 years, since the war in Bosnia, has been to help those who needs it the most. During that time, she has organised about 50 lorries of goods. Here is a link to her project on www.100-days.net.
Jenny helps carrying goods that have arrived from Switzerland with a lorry.
She has helped schools, such as putting in a water tank, chemistry lab and library. She has supplied schools with about 100 computers. She brought 14 war paraplegics with medical staff to Switzerland for check-ups and a holiday. We invited 24 children with only one parent to Switzerland for a holiday. 

A family near Sarajevo receiving food packs from Jenny.
A family near Sarajevo receiving food packs from Jenny.
A family near Sarajevo receiving food packs from Jenny.

We are distributing food packets and supporting about 100 poor and sick children with economic assistance. We also buy sandwiches for children who are unable to afford them in various schools. 
Also, local refugee centres have received help from donations through the projects run by Jenny.
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Blankets, toys and other materials have been delivered from Switzerland and distributed at a refugee camp near Sarajevo.
The material is stored and distributed rapidly as stocks are low and temperatures freezing during the winter in Sarajevo.
There are many children at the refugee camp. The conditions are poor, although services are improving, as shown here during activities. 
Jenny with students who are helping her, visiting a family benefitting from her help.

Recently, she lost one of her main donors (The donor now supports a local project in Italy). Jenny very much wants to complete current project that she has committed to next month. 


From this fall, she will be continuing her efforts from her apartment in Lugano, this way she is cutting cost and hope  to continue her work. Remember, all money raised goes directly to her project helping children all over Bosnia. 

The son in this 4 person family is diabetic from he was 9 years old. He lost his sight completely at the age of 25. Before he lost his sight he was a talented artist and craftsman. He used to build wonderful houses from matches and we used to sell them for him in Switzerland and Italy.
He also loves animals and birds in particular.
He has 5 birds and the eggs are collected and serves him well as they are good for his immune system.
He has 5 birds and the eggs are collected and serves him well as they are good for his immune system
The living conditions of this family is not good, but still better than in the past. The mother was abandoned by her husband with three children, a boy of 5, a boy of 4, a boy of 3. Unable to pay the rent, she was thrown out her house. The children were badly beaten by their father and the boy of four cannot see well due to the father beating him on the head early on in his life.
The eldest son has a hair lip and is going to be operated the day after our visit. The children appear "stressed" and hard to manage.
More to come...


#bosnia #poverty #help #100days #switzerland #children

Thursday, April 04, 2019

April 4th is Mine Awareness Day

“On this International Day for Mine Awareness, let us reaffirm our commitment to eradicating the horrendous damage caused by landmines and assisting those who have been harmed by their use.”
- UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Landmines is a huge problem in many parts of the world. Today, in order to mark the April 4th as the Mine Awareness Day, The ministry of Civil Affairs in BiH, in cooperation with the Commission for Deming in BiH and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center with the support of the UNDP and the Swiss Embassy in Sarajevo invited guests to the parliament building to mark the event. 
April 4th is Mine Awareness Day, Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu from the UNDP talks to the media.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Saliah Osmanovic reflections on the Karadzic verdict.

Saliah Osmanovic lives about an hour outside of Srebrenica. She lost both of her sons as well as her husband during the genocide in Srebrenica. 
On March 20th 2019, United Nations appeals judges have upheld the convictions of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and increased his sentence from 40 years to life imprisonment.  In this context, we met with  Saliah Osmanovic who visited the Potocari Memorial where the verdict was broadcasted on live TV. The following day, we went to meet with her at her house not too far from the memorial ground in Potocari. 

'Nermin! come here, they will help us, we are safe'. This is roughly what Ramo said when shouting towards his son, in order to make him come forward. Ramos and his son was most likely exhausted and probably hungry and thirsty after having walked for two days. A week earlier (On July 6th), he and his wife, Saliha Osmanovic had buried their youngest son, Edin who was killed by a grenade. They, together with over a thousand others, had been walking for two days- trying to escape from the Bosnian Serb forces who had taken Srebrenica on July 11th 1995. When Ramo screams out for his son, they have all been captured. Most of them were likely killed in what is known as the Kravica massacre. They are standing near Kamenice, not far from Kravica, around 45 minutes drive from Srebrenica.

Saliah Osmanovic does not want revenge. She wants tall he guilty people responsible for the genocide and war crimes to be prosecuted and for justice to happen. One of her pleasures in her life is to talk to the local children. She treats them sometimes with sweets and explains it is not important to her as from which ethnic background they come from. She hopes for a future where neighbours can live in peace.


#karadzic #mothersofsrebrenica #srebrenica #genocide #verdict #storytelling #ReportageSpotlight #portraiture 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

United Nations appeals judges convict former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to life in prison.

United Nations appeals judges have upheld the convictions of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and increased his sentence from 40 years to life imprisonment.  Here, Nura Mustafic is talking to the media after learning the verdict while watching live broadcast on TV at the Potocari Memorial, just outside of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Nura Mustafic is talking to the media after learning the verdict while watching live broadcast on TV at the Potocari Memorial, just outside of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
#karadzic #lifeinprison #mothersofsrebrenica #srebrenica #genocide #verdict 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Surviving Srebrenica: Hasan Hasanovic

Hasan Hasanovic posing inside the Potocari Memorial museum. 
The building is part of the old car battery factory which was later used as the UN Head Quarter during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992- 1995. Srebrenica was a so called "safe area at the time. Hasanovic later survived the genocide which took place here in July 1995. His father, twin brother and uncle did not. His story can be read in his book: Surviving Srebrenica.

#srebrenica #genocide #bosnia #portrait #photography

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Red Cross, Sarajevo

The Red Cross building in Sarajevo was originally built in 1929. It not only housed the Red Cross, but also included  public baths, a soup kitchen, law offices and  the Cinema, Kino Sutjeska. In 1992, during the war, the building was totally destroyed. Part of the building has now been reconstructed and repaired, other parts will hopefully follow in the near future. Getting to know the history of this building is special. More to come. 
A pigeon is flying over the partially repaired roof of the Red Cross building in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

#photography #redcross #bosnia #sarajevo #bird #pigeon #documentary

Monday, December 10, 2018

70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - December 10, 2018


Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet:
Yazidi children living with her family in a temporary camp, near Sinjar/ Dohuk, in northern Iraq/ Kurdistan.

"On 10 December, we mark the 70th anniversary of that extraordinary document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is, I firmly believe, as relevant today as it was when it was adopted 70 years ago. 
Arguably even more so, as over the passing decades, it has passed from being an aspirational treatise into a set of standards that has permeated virtually every area of international law.
It has withstood the tests of the passing years, and the advent of dramatic new technologies and social, political and economic developments that its drafters could not have foreseen.
Its precepts are so fundamental that they can be applied to every new dilemma. 
The Universal Declaration gives us the principles we need to govern artificial intelligence and the digital world. 
It lays out a framework of responses that can be used to counter the effects of climate change on people, if not on the planet. 
It provides us with the basis for ensuring equal rights for groups, such as LGBTI people, whom few would even dare name in 1948. 
Everyone is entitled to all the freedoms listed in the Universal Declaration "without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." 
The last words of that sentence – "other status" – have frequently been cited to expand the list of people specifically protected. Not just LGBTI people, but also persons with disabilities – who now have a Convention of their own, adopted in 2006. Elderly people, who may get one as well.  Indigenous peoples.  Minorities of all sorts.
Everyone.
Gender is a concept that is addressed in almost every clause of the Declaration. For its time, the document was remarkably lacking in sexist language. The document refers to "everyone," "all" or "no one" throughout its 30 Articles.
This trailblazing usage reflects the fact that, for the first time in the history of international law-making, women played a prominent role in drafting the Universal Declaration. 
The role of Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the drafting committee is well known. Less well known is the fact that women from Denmark, Pakistan, the Communist bloc and other countries around the world also made crucial contributions. 
Indeed it is thanks primarily to the Indian drafter Hansa Mehta, that the French phrase "all men are born free and equal," taken from the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen, became in the Universal Declaration "all human beings are born free and equal." 
A simple but – in terms of women’s rights and of minority rights – revolutionary phrase. 
Hansa Mehta objected to Eleanor Roosevelt’s assertion that "men" was understood to include women – the widely-accepted idea at that time. She argued that countries could use this wording to restrict the rights of women, rather than expand them. 
Born out of the devastation of two World Wars, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the Holocaust, the Universal Declaration is geared to prevent similar disasters, and the tyranny and violations which caused them. It sets out ways to prevent us from continuing to harm each other, and aims to provide us with "freedom from fear and want." 
It sets limits on the powerful, and inspires hope among the powerless. 
Over the seven decades since its adoption, the Universal Declaration has underpinned countless beneficial changes in the lives of millions of people across the world, permeating some 90 national Constitutions and numerous national, regional and international laws and institutions.
But, 70 years after its adoption, the work the Universal Declaration lays down for us to do is far from over. And it never will be.  
In 30 crystal-clear articles, the Universal Declaration shows us the measures which will end extreme poverty, and provide food, housing, health, education, jobs and opportunities for everyone. 
It lights the path to a world without wars and Holocausts, without torture or famine or injustice. A world where misery is minimized and no one is too rich or powerful to evade justice. 
A world where every human has the same worth as every other human, not just at birth but for the duration of their entire lives. 
The drafters wanted to prevent another war by tackling the root causes, by setting down the rights everyone on the planet could expect and demand simply because they exist – and to spell out in no uncertain terms what cannot be done to human beings. 
The poor, the hungry, the displaced and the marginalized – drafters aimed to establish systems to support and protect them.
The right to food and to development is crucial. But this has to be achieved without discrimination on the basis of race, gender or other status. You cannot say to your people – I will feed you, but I won’t let you speak or enjoy your religion or culture. 
The rights to land and adequate housing are absolutely basic – and yet in some countries, austerity measures are eroding those very rights for the most vulnerable. 
Climate change can undermine the right to life, to food, to shelter and to health. These are all related – and the Universal Declaration and international human rights conventions provide a roadmap to their achievement.
I am convinced that the human rights ideal, laid down in this Declaration, has been one of the most constructive advances of ideas in human history – as well as one of the most successful. 
But today, that progress is under threat. 
We are born ‘free and equal,’ but millions of people on this planet do not stay free and equal. Their dignity is trampled and their rights are violated on a daily basis.
In many countries, the fundamental recognition that all human beings are equal, and have inherent rights, is under attack. The institutions so painstakingly set up by States to achieve common solutions to common problems are being undermined. 
And the comprehensive web of international, regional and national laws and treaties that gave teeth to the vision of the Universal Declaration is also being chipped away by governments and politicians increasingly focused on narrow, nationalist interests.  
We all need to stand up more energetically for the rights it showed us everyone should have – not just ourselves, but all our fellow human beings – and which we are at constant risk of eroding through our own, and our leaders’ forgetfulness, neglect or wanton disregard. 
I will end, where the Universal Declaration begins, with the powerful promise – and warning – contained in the first lines of its Preamble:
"…Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
"…Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief, and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.
"…It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression that human rights should be protected by the rule of law."
And we would do well to pay more attention to the final words of that same Preamble:
"…every individual and every organ of society keeping this Declaration constantly in mind shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms  and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."
We have come a long way down this path since 1948. We have taken many of progressive measures prescribed by the Universal Declaration at the national and international levels. 
But we still have a long way to go, and too many of our leaders seem to have forgotten these powerful and prophetic words. We need to rectify that, not just today, not just on the 70th anniversary next Monday, but every day, every year. 
Human rights defenders the world over are on the frontlines of defending the Universal Declaration through their work, their dedication and their sacrifice. No matter where we live or what our circumstances are, most of us do have the power to make a difference – to make our homes, communities, countries, and our world better – or worse – for others. Each of us needs to do our part to breathe life into the beautiful dream of the Universal Declaration. 
For this was the gift of our ancestors, to help us avoid ever having to go through what they went through."

#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #nikonpro #iraq #keystone
#yazidi #refugee #sinjar #peshmerga #sinjarmountain #neveragain #humanrights #humanrightsdeclaration #genocide

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sarajevo Youth Theatre, Pozoriste Mladih Sarajevo- tonight.

The main actor, peeking through the stage curtain prior to rehearsal!
At the Youth Theatre in Sarajevo (Pozoriste Mladih Sarajevo), actors have been busy rehearsing for their play, ‘Svirala', which opens tonight. Fantastic work by everyone involved, including Director Alena Dzebo!

#theatre #youththeatre #sarajevo #bosnia #photography #newgeneration

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Postojnska jama

Wikipedia: (Slovene: Postojnska jama; German: Adelsberger Grotte; Italian: Grotte di Postumia) is a 24,340 m long karst cave system near Postojna, southwestern Slovenia. The cave was first described in the 17th century by the pioneer of study of karst phenomena, Johann Weikhard von Valvasor, although graffiti inside dated to 1213 indicates a much longer history of use.
Postojnska jama, July 2018. 
#slovenia #grotte #travel #photography #postojna #fujifilm #x100f

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Exhibition in Sarajevo: Genocide in Srebrenica, 11 lessons for the future.

Join us, make a visit- for one month starting July the 9th, the exhibition Genocide in Srebrenica, 11 lessons for the future, is on show in Sarajevo. This group exhibition shows 11 individual stories of survivors of the Srebrenica genocide. Awareness lessons for all of us to bring forward. It is curated by Hikmet Karcic.
Inside the Pilica Cultural Centre where around 500 men and boys, including Hasan's twin brother, were killed.

An umbrella helps making some shade in the intense sunshine at the Potocari memorial cemetery on July 11th 2017. The irony is rather obvious..

#bosnia #srebrenica #genocide #storytelling #marsmira #humanrights #photojournalism #documentary #potocari #ReportageSpotlight #nikonswitzerland #webster #keystoneag #un