FIRST IN, BEST DRESSED-THANK YOU BOSANA!
Like every young person in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after graduating from college I was at a turning point in my life, to leave this country or stay. With 10 years of volunteer experience and over 100 certificates from NGOs and different educational courses, I applied for various jobs in Bosnia and Herzegovina where, of course, I didn’t even get an answer for some applications, and for others I waited for several months. Already frustrated in all this, I was planning my trip to leave this country when the Bosana Foundation announced that they were looking for help with the scholarship program and a person who would help the students within the Bosana team and perform administrative tasks. I applied for this position and I started to work at the Bosana Foundation in 2019. I have got the chance to use my knowledge and all my voluntary experiences. Hard work and certificates finally paid off because someone recognized me and valued my professional background. It is really important for youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina to gain this first work experience. I am grateful that I was chosen and that I had the chance to have this experience in the Foundation where all important things in my life started. For example, the opportunity to get an education, scholarship, travels, and many, many experiences and friends all over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Through this article, I express my great gratitude to the Bosana team, Senita, for allowing me to have my first work experience, which was very challenging. First of all, the challenge was to work from home due to pandemic, to communicate all things and affairs electronically, but I will proudly point out one thing, and that is that the Bosana Foundation has never left any of its students stranded. The second gratitude, and perhaps the most important one, goes to every person in the diaspora who invests in the education of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Without you, this would not have been possible, my education would not have been possible, nor the struggle for independence that I gained just because you allowed me to have my first work experience in this foundation. More precisely, I am glad that from the beginning, when I became part of Bosana, until the end, the fact remained that you are first and foremost a family and not just a legal body that helps young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
At the start of the pandemic, I was honored to be selected as part of the Bosana team to visit Los Angeles and participate in the annual fundraising event for the Bosana Foundation. There, I met Bosnians and Herzegovinians from all over the country who selflessly express their love for their homeland in support of such initiatives and organizations such as Bosana. And indeed, from the beginning to the end, everything is done out of love and desire for the progress of both these students and the improvement of the situation and education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sometimes I don’t even have words to describe how much you meant to me. All that I am and know, I do not know if it would have been possible without all of you who invested in this organization and vision. Thank you for giving us the wings to fly, and the opportunity to know that we are not left alone on the margins of society, but have concrete knowledge, experiences, and skills that we will use in our future lives and careers. When they ask me what I want in the future, I say that I want to be so successful that I can secure at least one scholarship for a student in Bosana from my salary, because I know how much it meant to me. This is not a goodbye, because I will always be a part of Bosana personally and every student can always count on me and my contribution in any sense. This is a message of gratitude and encouragement, that everything is possible when someone supports you, and that support is crucial in these moments to keep young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I will "travel" further, for some other experiences, knowing that there is always someone who is watching my back and selflessly standing behind me.
I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank Ajlana Osmanagić, the program director of the Bosana Foundation, with whom I had the most communication during my engagement in the Bosana Foundation and who has selflessly volunteered in this organization since its founding.
Thank you for the perfect mentorship and every word of support and for always being there, for every piece of information, every piece of advice, and kindness.
New experiences are waiting for me but I know that I am and always will be a child who grew up in this foundation, in every sense and meaning of this sentence.
Lejla Mušanović-former Bosana student and employee!