USDA and IOCC Sponsors NGO Fair in Bosnia

( [email protected] ) May 19, 2004 11:09 AM EDT

An NGO Fair and Exhibition sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture and the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) was held in Banja Luka from May 14-15, with the goal to increase awareness of the citizens about humanitarian activities carried out by various religious, nonreligious NGOs. A total of 46 organizations and associations from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the Fair.

Olja Babic, the Director of Citizens’ Association “Sunce” from Bugojno, thinks the Fair was effective in networking organizations involved in social service. “The NGO sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not networking nearly enough, and this is a great opportunity to get to know each other. The only criticism I would have is that there were not enough visitors, in my opinion. This whole thing was organized in order to present our activities to the citizens, but I fear that they were not as interested as they should be.”

During the fair, several discussions were held relating to social activities. The main topics of the discussion were: “Environmental Protection and Production of Health Food,” “Why Children View School as Problem and Burden,” “Importance of Voluntarism for the Local Communities and Legislative Regulation of the Volunteers’ Status”, “Employment of Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Physical Capabilities”, “The Role of NGOs in the Social and Economic Integration of Local Population, Returnees and IDPs.”