The JU Center for Children and Adults with Special Needs in Bosnia and Herzegovina provides daily care for people with disabilities through a team of experts who help improve their quality of life, provide education and give support for the parents. This past December, YES alumna Edna Porca (YES 2019-2019, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed with AYA in Unity, OR) decided to organize the project “Stand Together” in her local community to help raise funds for the center and celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities. These funds were used to purchase hygiene supplies and New Year packages for the center to lift the spirits of nearly 150 children during the holiday season.
For the project, Edna reached out to local companies and encouraged them to donate after showing them the impact the center makes and how these funds would increase that impact. As a result, local company Porča d.o.o. (a PPE equipment manufacturer) donated essential hygiene supplies, plus 300 masks and gloves. They also provided support as a partner throughout the whole project. Another local company, Neimax d.o.o. (a construction company) donated funds to cover 60 New Years' packages for the children. As a final part of the project, Edna, along with two Bosnian youth participants, wrote holiday letters for the 150 center participants and provided materials for the New Years' packages.
These donations greatly helped the center and put huge smiles on the children’s faces. The “Stand Together” project was a great example of the strength a local community has when it comes together and showed the importance of giving.