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FOB former director Sharon Webb loading a truck in Sarajevo with relief supplies for Zenica, Bugojno, Klujc and Sanski Most.

Bolnica Dobrinja, a hospital set up in the Sarajevo community of Dobrinja during the war to treat victims who were unable to get to the main Kosevo Hospital.

Dr. Melika Mahmutbegovic, Director of Bugojno Hospital

Reconstructing Lives
April - November 1998
This is the third time Friends of Bosnia has filled a 40-ft. container with relief supplies. We began this project in early 1998 when we started reaching out to potential donors in New England and recipients in Bosnia. (See complete list below). We were donated warehouse space by the Eastworks building in Easthampton, Mass. to store, sort, and pack the aid prior to shipping. The container finally left our warehouse bound for Koper, Slovenia in late September. In early November, FOB directors Glenn Ruga and Sharon Webb traveled to Bosnia to meet the container in Sarajevo and supervise distribution throughout Bosnia. This is the first time we worked directly with Bosnians to distribute the aid. We were very fortunate to have a construction company in Bosnia --EsSystems--donate use of a warehouse in Sarajevo and their trucks while distributing the aid. We also worked closely with Carol Schaefer from Connecticut Friends of Bosnia who used nearly half the container for their own aid to refugee centers and orphanages.

Partial list of aid

Cardiology medications, antibiotics, EKG, fetal heart monitor, incubator, centrifuges, autoclave, scales, microscopes, examination and surgical gloves, general surgical supplies, hospital linens, sterile glass ware, prosthetics, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, breast pumps, baby basinettes
46 boxes of music books, seven computers, four printers, four electric typewriters, fax machine, seven boxes of photographic supplies, cosmetics for refugees, pencils

Aid recipients

Bugojno Hospital
We are very grateful to Sabahudin (Sabi) Hadzialic for his help as liaison with the Bugojno Hospital and to Dr. Melika Mahmutbegovic, Hospital Director, for her hospitality and courage. Dr. Mahmutbegovic performed surgery throughout the war, saving numerous lives, and often under the most grueling conditions. We were also welcomed and hosted by Dzevad Mlaco, mayor of Bugojno who gave us economic statistics on the region and encouraged us to maintain our contacts with them. Bugojno, situated in western Bosnia, was unfortunate to be attacked by both Croatian and Serb extremists and suffered tremendous destruction. The Croatian HVO occupied a former hunting villa of Tito overlooking the town. Upon evacuating the facility in early 1994, after the formation of the Muslim/Croat Federation, they blew up the villa leaving a completely empty shell. One of the saddest sights of this trip was a new hospital in Bugojno that was begun prior to the war but not quite finished. It sits on a hill overlooking the town and is now a ruin that will likely never be used. While in Bugojno we stayed at the Kalin Hotel which was one of the newest hotels in Bosnia completed shortly before the war began. Sharon Webb and I stayed there in November 1998, almost three years after the end of the war, and it was the first night the hotel had heat since it was damaged by shelling early in 1992--over six years later!
Gorazde Hospital
Gorazde Hospital was one of many health facilities in Bosnia during the war that was inundated with useless medical supplies by well-meaning humanitarian organizations. Consequently they were very selective in their aid request and we were only able to donate a few items from our inventory. They came to Sarajevo in an ambulance to pick up the aid during the morning we were packing up to go to Zenica, Bugojno and Klujc and consequently we were not able to spend much time with them.
Klujc Hospital
This is the second time we have delivered supplies to Klujc, a town in northwest Bosnia that was under Serb nationalist control during most of the war and was retaken towards the end of the conflict with Croatian help during Operation Storm in the summer of 1995. The hospital was completely stripped by the Serb nationalists when they evacuated the town and during our first visit in the summer of 1997, there was very little there. During our second trip in November 1998, the building had been repaired and repainted.
Kosevo Hospital, Pediatrics Dept., Sarajevo
Friends of Bosnia has a long-standing relationship with Dr. Esma Zecevic from the Pediatrics Clinic. Like much of Sarajevo during the war, the Pediatrics Clinic was shelled repeatedly and suffered much damage. Dr. Zecevic was also shot by a sniper in her home and came to Boston to have the bullet removed, and then returned to Sarajevo to her work as a pediatrician. On this trip we donated a laptop computer, examination gloves, a baby bassinette, and other pediatric supplies.
Sarajevo Music Conservatory
As part of our shipment, we delivered 46 boxes of music books donated by Cornell University to help rebuild the music library at the Sarajevo Music Conservatory. Farida Musanovic, dear to many members of FOB, teaches piano at the conservatory. During the war, in the coldest months, Farida would go to the shelled and unheated building to teach her students piano while wearing gloves to fend of the cold.
Sanski Most/Prejidor
Friends of Bosnia delivered a computer to a school in Prijedor that is participating in a Muslim/Serb dialogue organized by the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding.
Firefly Reconciliation Project, Brcko
This is the second time FOB delivered photographic supplies to a youth project in Bosnia. This time to a project in one of the most contested towns in the country. The project was started by Ellie Maxwell who had formerly worked at Mladi Most in Mostar. Currently the project is headed up by Chip Robinson. We expect to receive photographs soon from their work with youth from all ethnicities living in and around Brcko.
Personal parcels
Friend of Bosnia has a long standing tradition to deliver packages from Bosnian refugees in western Massachusetts to their family members in Bosnia.

Friends of Bosnia would like to extend a heart felt thank you to the following individuals for their help with this project.

Aid donations
Cooley Dickenson Hospital, Northampton, Massachusetts
Dr. Charles Bockoff, Salem Hospital, Salem, Massachusetts
Donation Warehouse, Manchester, Connecticut
Bill Rosen, UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, Massachusetts
Stewart Kagel, Franciscan Children's Hospital, Brighton, Massachusetts
Dr. David H. Kuhns, Cumberland Center, Maine
Dr. Stuart Schneller, Brighton Marine Health Complex, Brighton, Massachusetts
Dr. Robert Miller, Shelburne, Massachusetts
Cardiology Associates, Inc., Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Lenore Coral, Cornell University Music Library, Cornell, New York
Frank Ward, Ashfield, Massachusetts
Scandinavian Seminar, Amherst, Massachusetts
Cameleon School of Hair Design, Northampton, Massachusetts
Elliott Ruga and Cathi Hession, Morristown, New Jersey
Sara Kurlich and Nermin Zukic, San Francisco
Eileen Rourke, New York
Enesa Hodzic, Sarajevo
Haris Kusturica, Sarajevo
Nurija Jusupovic and the staff of EsSytems, Sarajevo
Armin Alagic, Sarajevo
Manuela Dobos, Sarajevo
Milton Howard ,Will Bundy, Mark Rea and the staff of Pleasant Street Storage, Eastworks, Easthampton, Massachusetts
Michael Kane, Northampton, Mass., collecting, fundraising and aid donation
Ginny Sullivan, Northampton, Mass., fundraising
Edin Arslanagic, Amherst, Massachusetts, technical support
Dr. Norbert Goldfield, medical support, Northampton, Massachusetts
Bob & Janet Winston, Amherst, Massachusetts
Barbara Ayotte, Somerville, Massachusetts
John Olson, Jeanie Tietjen, Rob Wilson, and Olivia Tamzarian, warehouse volunteers
Susan Triolo, Sunderland, Massachusetts
Major Financial Support
Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation, Seattle, Washington

Friends of Bosnia, 2 CLOCK TOWER PLACE #510, MAYNARD, MA 01754 USA
Tel: 978-461-0909, Fax: 978-461-2552/ / email: [email protected]