Alison Morse

Alison Morse (BOSFAM): Alison graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in international relations. Alison worked for the International Institute of Boston, a nonprofit that helps refugees and immigrants in the Boston area. Alison worked with survivors of human trafficking, torture and domestic violence. At the time of her fellowship, she was pursuing a Master's degree in law and diplomacy at Tufts University's Fletcher School, focusing on development economics and human security.



Departure

22 May

Someone recently referred to eastern Bosnia, my destination for the summer as “somewhat of a black hole.” The region is known for its salt deposits and coal. As my task for the summer is to work on a project of social tourism to attract visitors to Bosfam, the organization where I will be working, I have been trying to think of how to work with the “black hole” comment. No catchy slogans are coming to mind. The difficulty of this project is only compounded by the general lack of understanding of what social tourism is exactly. Prior to departure I have been talking to family and friends about the work I will be doing – only to be met with blank stares. Eco-tourism has gained momentum, particularly in Central America and Southeast Asia, but social tourism has not yet started to grace the covers of various travel magazines. Much of my first few weeks will be defining social tourism for myself and trying to find models from which to work.

In recent weeks I have also started to work on another project that will have me coordinating an event to commemorate the massacre at Srebrenica on July 11th. The focal point of the event is a quilt made by the women of Bosfam. Each patch of the quilt has the name of a victim of the massacre. St. Louis is the target destination as there are over 50,000 members of the Bosnia diaspora living there.

Bosfam, with its many events, networks, and personalities, seems to be a bright spot with the perceived “black hole” of eastern Bosnia. Bosfam is an organization that provides assistance to women survivors of the Srebrenica massacre. In addition to providing a support network and refuge for women, Bosfam also offers a unique opportunity for the women to build a sustainable livelihood. By weaving rugs, traditionally called kilim, and producing other crafts, the women help generate income for themselves and their families. Having never traveled to the region I am eager to arrive at my post and begin learning about the history of the organization, the population they serve and the ways in which these women hope to be catalyst for social justice in the region.

Posted By Alison Morse

Posted May 22nd, 2007

110 Comments

  • Jasmina

    June 22, 2007

     

    Hey Alison, can I by any chance get your email add? The link on the site is not working. Im from bosnia and im planning to apply for Tufts next year, so… any information would be very helpful.
    Btw, your blog is really interesting.

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