|How to act||
Culture, Media, Structural support
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Tuzla, UK, Zenica
1993, 1994, 1995
Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Soros Foundation opened an office in Sarajevo in February 1993, with Zdravko Grebo as its first director. While many other international initiatives showed commitment in one specific sector, the Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina (OSF BiH) was active in many different fields through financial and material support. In 1993 and 1994, in view of the many humanitarian needs, the main focus was on emergency aid regarding infrastucture, health and food, but OSF BiH immediately also started to support activities in the field of arts and culture, children and youth, education and media. In the context of war, the aims of OSF BiH were “to preserve and restore in people the belief in the values of an open society ; to encourage individuals committed to spreading these ideas to remain in the country (…) and, most importantly, to give hope and a promise of the future to younger generations.”
In the three years between 1993 and 1995, OSF BiH invested more than 13 million US Dollar in its programs. Concrete examples included scholarships for university students in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica and Mostar, the introduction of internet and email to many institutions in order to break the communication blockade, the repair of damaged schools and cultural institutions, and the financial support to the organization of exhibitions (for example “Warchitecture”) and other cultural manifestations, for example the “Month of BiH in the Czech Republic” organized by the People in Need Foundation.
OSF BiH paid a particular attention to the support of media, for example by delivering much needed paper to print media in Sarajevo, Tuzla and Zenica or providing technical material to radios and tv stations and financial support for their employees. In 1995, OSF BiH created the Media Centar in Sarajevo, which has since then organized numerous educational and training programs with the aim to support the development of independent and professional journalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina.