Alison Sluiter

Alison Sluiter (Bosnian Women – BOSFAM): Alison graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2008 with a BS in Foreign Service. While at university she studied abroad in Warsaw and Berlin where she interned at the Blaetter fuer deutsche und internationale Politik, a German-language political journal. Alison returned to Berlin during her senior year with a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to conduct research for her thesis on the educational attainment levels of Turkish-German female students in Germany. During 2008 Alison worked at The Advocacy Project in Washington, where she helped to build the Srebrenica Memorial Quilt project and coordinate outreach. She also accompanied Beba Hadzic on a visit to Bosnian diaspora groups in St. Louis, Chicago, New York, and Washington. After her fellowship in Bosnia, Alison wrote: “All the women of BOSFAM have been so welcoming and accepting - I feel like I have 10 new mothers."


29 Sep

Hello to all blog-followers!  I have to apologize for a long delay in posting and wanted to let everyone know what I have been up to in Tuzla over the past few weeks.

Following the Fashion Show, which turned out to be a great success, BOSFAM returned to its normal activities of handicraft production and psycho-social support.  The Fashion Show was covered by several Bosnian news outlets and you can see some pictures at the following URL:            It was a great evening and BOSFAM’s staff and members were very pleased by the turn-out.

My colleague Kelsey Bristow returned to Washington, DC shortly after the Fashion Show and I am now living alone in the BOSFAM apartment. Things are definitely much quieter – and lonlier – without Kelsey around, but she is busy completing her senior year at Georgetown University.  We both hope that she will be able to return to BOSFAM next summer.  Kelsey still plans on putting together some video from the Fashion Show and our daily activities which I will be sure to post as soon as I receive it.

My recent work at BOSFAM has focused on providing English translations for several sections of our new website – please check it out and comment at , writing grant proposals and researching funding opportunities for BOSFAM, and trying very hard to obtain a Bosnian visa.  After six hours at the hospital yesterday compiling all the necessary signatures for the health certificate (one of only many forms necessary for the visa application), I sincerely hope that this process will soon reach its conclusion.

Although I have yet to receive any definitive answers regarding several grant proposals, I have gotten some positive feedback and am feeling generally optimistic about my fundraising efforts.  In the eyes of international donors, Bosnia and Herzegovina is not nearly as trendy (for lack of a better word) as it was in the ’90s, which can make fundraising for a small organization like BOSFAM quite a challenging process.  However, Beba Hadžić’s (BOSFAM’s Director) motto is “We will survive,” and I am sure that she is right.

I am looking forward to a trip to Linz, Austria in a few weeks to promote BOSFAM’s work.  We have been invited by the Zentrum der zeitgemaessen Initiativen – Austria, a group which promotes intercultural friendship between Bosnians and Austrians.  I have been surprised by how useful my knowledge of German is here, and am certain it will come in handy while in Linz.  If you can read German or Bosnian, I would encourage you to check out ZZI’s website and all the creative and useful projects they support:

That is all the news from BOSFAM for now, and I will do my best to become a productive blogger once again.  I look forward to your comments, questions, and suggestions concerning ongoing work in Tuzla and BOSFAM’s projects.  Veliki pozdrav iz Tuzle (Greetings from Tuzla)!

Posted By Alison Sluiter

Posted Sep 29th, 2009


  • Stephanie

    September 29, 2009


    HI. Glad you’re back. Just a small suggestion for the opening page of the website. It says: “As a non-governmental organization, our goal is to help war-affected women cope with their suffering, misery, and poverty.”

    I would try to be POSITIVE on that opening page. Beba is so POSITIVE–that needs to come through. Donors don’t want to hear only negative things. Maybe it should say, “Our goal is to help war-affected woman use their talents as artisans in a supportive setting that helps them to earn a living and obtain the support they need to lead productive lives.”

  • Owen

    October 2, 2009


    Excellent that you’re back on line – you’re such a good advocate for Bosfam. At this moment I’m looking up at the beautiful Bosfam rug I was given. That’s another positive focus you can give to the website – to plagiarise Stephanie: “to help war-affected women use their talents as artisans in a supportive setting to produce beautiful objects that help them to earn …etc.”

  • Owen

    October 2, 2009


    And make the picture of that beautiful red rug in the top right hand corner of the Bosfam home page next to the flags much larger, and clickable to a full screen-size image!

  • Daniel Roberts

    August 9, 2010


    Just came across this site. I like the design. It’s great to see an NGO helping people grow. I got to go to Peru this summer shooting video for a clean water organization, and it was life changing. Keep up the good work.

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