Report: Help to former Bosana students affected by COVID-19
Bosana Foundation prides itself on being one large family. For some of our students, this is the first time that they experience a sense of belonging and unity. Being part of Bosana means that students will have access to financial and professional assistance to obtain a college degree; however, in moments of uncertainty, like the one we just experienced with the worldwide pandemic, that also means that they can count on us to provide additional support. For our current students, we doubled the monthly scholarships to help them and their families in these difficult times. But we also did not forget our former students once we became aware that many of them completely lost their incomes. For some, this meant not being able to buy basic necessities. Knowing that three of our former students recently became mothers, we knew we had to find a way to help them. In the past, Bosana was there also for our students during the 2014 floods that devasted many families across BIH. Two of our students lost homes while at least three others were severely affected. Through our collaboration with APU Network in Sweden, we were able to help rebuild two homes while providing financial assistance to other families in need.
Call to Action:
Our goal was to raise $3,000 to support at least three of our most affected former students. We organized the campaign via the Global Giving platform. Within days, thanks to our generous donors, we surpassed our goal and we were able to raise $15,834. This opened up more opportunities to help even more students. To determine the need, we sent out a detailed survey to all of our former students. 50 former students were contacted and 14 reported that they had been severely impacted by the pandemic. We grouped the 14 students into four groups and fairly allocated available funds based on their needs:
How did the students use the funds?
All the students were required to report how they used financial support. Most of them used the funds to cover basic necessities like food, rent, and household supplies. Some of our students have housing/mortgage loans or they help parents repay loans they took to help finance their studies. Most of our students are the sole breadwinners of their families. 5 of the 14 former students have ill parents for whom they supply medication and medical treatments. We are particularly proud that our three students who recently became mothers did not have to worry how they will buy baby food or diapers.
In Their Own Words: Word of gratitude from our students
"I divided the money into 4 parts and distributed it to pay the bills for the next 4 months. It will help cover part of the cost of electricity, water, utilities, as well as food. Your support means so much to me, as due to the COVID-19 situation my future salary is very uncertain". -Milena A.
"The money came to me just in time because I had not been able to buy things needed for a baby I am waiting to arrive any day now. I bought the necessary vitamins for myself, things for the baby, necessities for my hospital stay, and also some I will need when I get out of the hospital." -Tesnima B.
"So far, I was able to pay my loans, medicine for my parents, food and supplies, as well as utilities. I am so humbled to be part of Bosana family" - Selma K.
“The money I received from Bosana helped me so much. I covered basic necessities such as paying utilities and buying food for the upcoming months. One huge thank you to Bosana for showing support in the most difficult times. ”-Edin Š.
“The financial support I received from the Bosana Foundation (for which I am immensely grateful) due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic helped me remain financially stable during this period, to meet my own financial needs and support financial needs of the household I live in.” - Denis S.
“Due to Covid-19, my salary was reduced by 50% (400BAM) so with that reduced amount, I would not be able to survive in Sarajevo. Thanks to Bosana and the help I received, I will be able to cover basic needs for the next 3 months. Thank you very much to the Bosana Foundation and all the donors!” -Anela Z.
"The money I received from Bosana helped me a lot. I managed to pay all current expenses (apartment, utilities, food, loans) for these two months, and I will be able to use the rest of the money for the next month to cover basic needs.” - Katica M.
“Bosana's help came at the perfect time. It gave me the stability that I needed, especially in the unusual circumstances that we're all in.” - Miloš D.
"BOSANA helped me to pay rent and food for the next two months. I had borrowed money to survive when I lost my job – so, with your support, I was able to pay off my debts." - Esmeralda A.
"COVID-19 has significantly affected the financial situation of my recently expanded family but now I don't have to worry if my daughter will miss anything. I am grateful to my BOSANA family for always thinking of us.” - Nadja M.
"With this help, I am able to continue my university duties on time. What's more, it also helped me recertify as a youth career counselor, to be able to look for employment once we are able to return to work. All this gave me peace, freedom, and time to focus on finding new solutions to my situation.”- Amar T.
"There are no words to describe my gratitude to Bosana, which always supports me, in good and difficult situations. The funds I received provided food for my family for three months and helped pay for other things, such as treatment and medicine for my mother and grandmother. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. ”- Armel M.
"I would say that without this help I don't know how I would have financially survived this period; with it, I paid all the costs I had during these few months: food, utilities, and medication for my parents"- Nermina P.