BOSFAM (Bosnian Family), is a non-governmental organization based in Tuzla Bosnia-Herzegovina that supports and honors the victims and survivors of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. It was founded by the former head of the Srebrenica Primary School, Beba Hadzic, in 1994 as a way to meet the needs of the newly displaced refugees in Tuzla. BOSFAM offers a refuge to refugee women regardless of their age, religion, ethnic background, or education, helping the women gain economic stability as they struggle against poverty, misery, and suffering. As Beba recalls, “Many of us were lost, and had nothing. So some of us got together and asked what we could do by ourselves. We began to go around to the collective centers .If nothing else, we could at least talk to people. As it turned out, we could do much more.”
BOSFAM offers support for returning children in the Srebrenica municipality, psyco-social aid to the survivors and their families, works as an advocate for women searching for missing family members, provides information and education for survivors as well as encourages the economic stability of women through weaving programs. BOSFAM runs a weaving center in Tuzla, where its members produce and sell traditional Bosnian carpets (kilims), sweaters, socks and gloves.
The largest and most significant project of BOSFAM remains the Srebrenica Memorial Quilt Project. Under the slogan “Tradition at work against oblivion”, the quilt project is meant to preserve the memory of those who lost their lives in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. The women of BOSFAM have woven 16 memorial quilts with 330 names on them. Each of the quilts is made of individual panels (40 x40 cm), woven for one missing person. The panels are woven with the name of one of the 8,372 missing genocide victims on it. Each year a different quilt theme is chosen including, children, women, teachers and neighborhoods. The carpet is woven together with love; threads, patterns and colors interwoven like the destinies of the genocide victims.
Town of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina where the 1995 genocide displaced the women of BOSFAM
This past weekend, a few of the women of BOSFAM traveled three hours to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to exhibit the quilts for diplomats, survivors and journalists. Below is a short video about the quilts and the exhibit.
Posted By Claire Noone
Posted Jul 3rd, 2012