In March of 2003 my parents and I went on a trip to visit my younger brother. My brother had been working in Bihać, Bosnia. Bihać is a small city in the northwest corner of Bosnia about a 20 minute drive to the Croatian border. While in Bihać, we able to meet a lot of people and learn as much as we could about them.
The people of Bosnia are still recovering from the war of the early 1990’s. Many people are still recovering from the wounds they suffered. Unemployment continues to be high. Life is difficult for many.
I recently received an email about an agricultural project in Bihać that impressed me. A man name Faruk and a group of friends have published a proposal about their to help “1) young people who lost their fathers in the war 2) youth without one or both parents, 3) divorced or unemployed parents, 4) many elderly persons with a minimum pension, and 5) many unemployed people.” Faruk wants to put these people to work to improve the local environment and the world through those local efforts. He hopes to improve the local environment by “planting of fruit trees (walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, cornel, cherries …), maintenance and operation of cleaning and similar projects such as the work of teaching young people socially useful work.”
“Last year we started the nursery garden in an area of 2,000 m2 [about half an acre], but this year we rented a plot of land in an area of 20,000 m2 [about four and a half acres] which we intend to turn into a nursery garden too. 1000 m2 [about three tenths of and acre] the land with an access to natural flowing spring water was given us to use free of charge. Other parcels of land– total 10,000 m2 [about two and a half acres] belong to people who cannot care for and cultivate the land because of age or illness. They are letting us use their land for an annual rent of 256 Euro[about 343 dollars] and we are intending to turn that land also into a nursery. We also bought a greenhouse (price 1282.05 Euro[about 1715 dollars]) , covering 100 m2 with installed irrigation systems. This needs to be paid back within the next 6 months. In the neighboring town of Cazin we have leased premises from the main local forest company. There we aim to do the same: turn environmentally neglected land into a nursery and continue with further expansion on the area of the municipality.”
“EXPECTED RESULTS :
– Land that we have rented this year will be turned into nursery for trees
– Many parcels of neglected or denuded (by fire or any other natural disasters) land will be forested and planted with fruit-trees
– Many parts of forest and other environmental areas will be cleaned from various garbage – A lot of young people will be encouraged to do useful work and positive thinking”
The above quotations were taken from a project proposal written by Faruk and his friends developing this program.
Faruk and his friends have a very big vision. Their work will make a positive change in the community. I love this project because it was developed by people who live in the community and want to help the people of the community. They just need some start-up funds to launch this program. Faruk has already started this work and I do not think much will stop it; however I would like to see the full potential realized.
If you would be interested in helping Faruk and the residents of Bihać, please contact me.
I apologize for taking your time to share this project and asking for your support. I felt compelled to share this with you because I believe in the value of this project.
Here at the Micro Farm my seed order arrived. Monday I will be starting seedlings. I am excited to starting a new season.
Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.