VIDEO: Grants for the Future

Lazo Sopić, one of the beneficiaries

Unemployment - one of the leading problems for citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina – is a particular challenge for returnees in Canton 10, the least developed region in the country. Limited economic opportunities, low income and greater risk of social exclusion make self-employment the only chance of a decent life for many local families.

Upon their return to Drvar, the five-member Sopić family lives from Lazo’s work, who is a carpenter. Wood processing in his workshop has so far been rather slow, and he sometimes needed to additionally pay for services he himself could not provide. “So far, I have worked manually, literally assembling the elements. The IOM has assisted me and donated a carpenter machine and some tools, which will be of great help. I plan to register my shop, and possibly employ someone and make a living out of this”, said Lazo Sopic.

In May 2015, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) delivered donations to two families in Drvar Municipality, as part of the project “Applying the Human Security Concept to Stabilise Communities in the Canton 10”.

“The International Organisation for Migration has so far selected 17 beneficiaries, out of 40 which we plan to support with grants of up to 3,000 USD”, said Edita Selimbegović, officer in IOM. “The grants aim to assist through self-employment, agricultural or small business start-ups and to serve as an economic impetus”.

 Radenko Milaković, one of the beneficiaries

A cultivator was donated to the Milakovics, six-member returnee family from Mrđe near Drvar, where agricultural income supports three generations.

“This will mean more than anything to us. My son and I used to mow manually. Along with the new machine, I also have a scythe, and tools to transport the hay. All of this will now be easier and better”, said Milenko Milaković, from Mrđe, who farms his relatives’ land and 4 hectares of his own land.

His son Radenko Milaković, explains how the new motocultivator will help them in their everyday work. „The motocultivator will serve many purposes, since we also have cattle, and we will use it for hay, and firewood. We now have the conditions to work.”

These are only few families in Canton 10 who are supported by the UN agencies through the project of the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. Aiming to ensure better living conditions, improve the quality of social services and other types of support to socially vulnerable citizens, the Project strengthens the capacities of cantonal and municipal authorities, and the civil society sector, in delivering social services, as well as the capacities in the educational system, and equal access to employment and economic sustainability.

The Project is jointly implemented by UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF and IOM in partnership with the Canton 10 Government, the municipal authorities and civil society organisations.