We have already been active in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1993 – just one year after Schüler Helfen Leben (SHL) started its work in Germany. During the war, which lasted from 1992 to 1995, SHL not only sent aid supplies to the region, but also supported the reconstruction of kindergartens and schools directly.
How it began
From 1996 on, the work of a small office in Sarajevo began. The volunteers and staff promoted projects throughout the country that strengthened youth commitment in the post-war period. These included the development of student council structures in schools, youth centres and culture, and extracurricular educational opportunities.
This lead to the development of our second foundation office, which is known in the region as an important player in the field of youth education, youth engagement and youth policy. The office is still based in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The team now includes ten staff members who are active in five areas. To distinguish SHL’s work in Germany, we refer to it as “SHL BiH” – BiH is the acronym for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Stand Up, Move On, Power Up!” – Our educational offers
Every year, we offer about 20 seminars for up to 400 youths and young adults. These aim to empower participants from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina through concrete actions in their own environment and to show them that they can contribute to improvements in their country themselves.
Up to six seminars take place outside Sarajevo to provide easier access for young people from rural areas. Most of the seminars, however, take place at SHL House in Sarajevo. The SHL House also has an exciting history: it was the first house that an international organisation was allowed to purchase after the war in 1992-95 and was renovated by German volunteers.