Bosnia hosts refugees who have fled countries such Pakistan, Iraq and Syria. Islamic Relief works with vulnerable refugees in Bosnia to provide them with the essential support needed to adjust to their new circumstances.
We provide them with essential clothing and blankets to help them get through the harsh winters. We also give them bedding and kitchen equipment, as well as hygiene kits containing items such as soap and other essential items. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, we worked to provide facemasks and hand gel to those living in refugee camps.
As well as providing practical, lifesaving support to people uprooted from their homes, Islamic Relief makes sure decision-makers hear their voices in order to positively influence change.
“I fled Iraq because of the war. We no longer felt safe, life there is difficult and there are no job opportunities. Because of these difficult circumstances, we came to Bosnia”, says 42-year-old Cameron.
“The most important thing in this life is safety. Unfortunately, there is no safety in our country, Iraq. We have come here to live in peace with people who love life and safety, which is the most important thing.
“In Iraq there are killings, kidnappings, and arrests, and we are threatened by gangs. We are threatened with death if we do not work with them, or we have to pay them large sums of money.
“Before the war, life in Iraq was beautiful and simple, and we used to work and live in safety, but now things have changed and become very bad. We are followed when we go to work, houses are broken into and we simply do not feel safe.
“I live now in a camp in Bosnia. The people here are good and we have everything we need and feel safe, thank God.
“The journey to safety was very difficult and we faced major obstacles on the way. For example, I spent 2 years in Greece waiting for the asylum application only for my application to be rejected. This forced me to leave and continue, eventually reaching Bosnia.
“I’m happy here. This country is beautiful, there are good people who help refugees like myself.
“I now live in an Islamic Relief camp in Bosnia. The people here are good and we have everything we need. We also receive training courses in the camp around Covid-19 and how to prevent it”, says Cameron.
Supporting Ahmed from Pakistan
“The journey was very difficult. We had difficulty finding food and water, and became ill frequently. In Serbia, I tripped and fell 40 ft, I was seriously injured.
“I had to pass through many countries, facing difficulty with immigration and in total it took me 5 years to reach Bosnia from Pakistan.
“I slept on the road for around 10 days. I didn’t have anything – no clothes, money or a phone. I couldn’t contact my family, and these days were extremely hard for me.
“When we came to Bosnia, we didn’t have shoes, clothes or any possessions. Our feet were badly damaged from walking for so long.
“Islamic Relief staff helped us, and provided us with these essential items which helped a lot. Thank you very much.
“Now I am determined to have a good future for me and also my family. Fear is not my destiny, my destiny is hope.”
Islamic Relief continues to do all it can to support vulnerable communities in Bosnia and beyond, particularly those who have been forced from their homes.
With your support, Islamic Relief can support even more people to change their lives – and their futures. Donate now.