News Release

Celebrating 10 years of working with Muslim Aid to help citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina

How greenhouses, beekeeping, and pregnant heifers have changed the lives of thousands

On Friday, 28 June 2024, more than 100 individuals of different faiths and origins gathered in Sarajevo to recognise and celebrate a decade of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslim Aid working together to provide humanitarian aid to 80 Municipalities and Cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among them were representatives of both organisations as well as beneficiaries and officials of national and local government.

“In a world that tears us apart, these cooperative efforts bring us back together,” said Sharon Eubank, Director of the Church’s Humanitarian Services, at the event. She thanked Muslim Aid and local municipalities for the many years of serving alongside to improve the lives of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even more so, she expressed gratitude to the beneficiaries present. “You are the stars, this is for you,” she explained. “It’s one thing to receive a pregnant cow or a few beehives, it’s another to take care of these resources and turn these initiatives into success.”

Beginning in 2014, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslim Aid initiated several projects, including greenhouses, beekeeping, and pregnant heifers, aimed at supporting citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who were previously living below the poverty line. Over the past decade, these projects have benefited over 13,000 individuals across 80 different municipalities.

Mustafa Faruqi, Chair of Muslim Aid of Trustees, called these projects an “outstanding example of how communities based on faith can develop a transformative power.” He added: “We still have a lot more to do and I look forward to strengthening the partnership.”

“Strong individuals make strong families and strong families make successful communities,” Edina Šehić-Saliji, Executive Director of the Muslim Aid Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina, added.

Kenan Šašić, representing the municipality of Jablanica, thanked all involved for the aid given and expressed hope that these efforts will continue.

During their 10-year cooperation in the country, Muslim Aid and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have focused on sustainable solutions rather than temporary relief. “We have a great partnership. It's fantastic to be able to draw on their expertise in agronomy and their understanding of the local culture. We couldn't have hoped for a better partner in the projects we do here,” Eric Rottermann, Europe Central Area Humanitarian Service Manager for the Church, concluded.

The Greenhouse initiative provided recipients with fully stocked and installed greenhouses, along with training programmes to learn how to successfully run a greenhouse. Since 2014, this project has led to the construction of over 3,000 greenhouses, significantly boosting local agriculture.

The second project, the beekeeping initiative, is a comprehensive effort involving the distribution of beekeeping materials, instructional support, and an educational campaign on the importance of bees. This project has improved the socio-economic conditions of rural households and strengthened local businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In May 2023, the final project began distributing pregnant milk cows to families in need. This initiative has helped families meet their nutritional needs with fresh milk and provided a financial boost through the sale of surplus milk.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains committed to humanitarian efforts, having participated in 4,119 projects in 2023 alone. For members of the Church, aiding those in need and promoting self-reliance is not only a noble endeavor but a sacred responsibility. Collaborating with other faiths and organisations, such as Muslim Aid, is not only beneficial for fostering unity and amplifying impact but is also a privilege to partner with others to make a difference. For the past decade, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslim Aid have united for the greater good, empowering citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina towards self-reliance and economic stability, one greenhouse, a set of beehives, or one cow at a time.

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