Building sustainable societies by supporting the most vulnerable ones

Empowerment through social protection services

March 18, 2024

Social welfare centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina face numerous challenges in providing support to the most vulnerable members of society. In order to strengthen these centers, the project " Sustaining peace and social cohesion in Bosnia and Herzegovina through enhanced inter-municipal and inter-entity cooperation on local services (SPSC)" has engaged 18 volunteers in nine municipalities who actively work in various spheres in order to provide support to social welfare centers and social protection departments.

In Bosanski Petrovac, previously there was no speech therapy service. With the assistance of the SPSC project, funded by the UN Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the provision of necessary support to individuals of all ages facing communication challenges has been enabled.  

Senija Ferizović

"As someone whose focus is speech therapy, I work with children and adults facing communication difficulties. Due to the high number of similar challenges occurring in different age groups, I have conducted various activities with beneficiaries, gaining new practices from assessment, intervention, stimulation, to individual and group work. This type of assistance and support cannot be obtained in other institutions in our community. This work requires patience, creativity, continuity, and adaptability to provide each person with adequate support in developing communication skills and responding to individual needs".
Senija Ferizović, a UN volunteer

The awareness of how just sharing problems can often be enough to improve an individual's emotional state, underscores the necessity of continuous support in communities. 

Adema Čarkić

"I have noticed how warmth, kindness, and support are important to all beneficiaries of the Center. For many of them, simply sharing their problems is enough to feel better. Considering the large number of beneficiaries seeking help, the employees of the Social Welfare Centers bear a heavy burden. Therefore, I believe that this project is extremely useful, as it provides valuable assistance to the centers. I hope that similar opportunities for support and relief in their work will continue to arise in the future".
Adema Čarkić, a UN volunteer from Ključ

Legal assistance was of great significance for Drvar. 

Maja Pilipović

"I have prepared many settlements for our social protection department during my work related to various legal tasks and engagements. Working with clients and getting acquainted with the situation and needs in our municipality helped me become closer to people and getting the opportunity for a different acquaintance with life in our Municipality – the life that the most vulnerable in our society live. At the same time, I am involved in discussions related to the establishment and opening of the Social Welfare Center supported by SPSC, which still does not exist in our municipality. This represents a significant step forward facilitated by the SPSC project".
Maja Pilipović, a UN volunteer from Drvar

In addition to providing assistance, volunteers also had the opportunity to acquire new knowledge within their involvement in the project. 

Haris Bašić

"I had no opportunity for direct communication with the center's clients. Now, through my daily work and research conducted by UNDP on mapping of social assistance and support services, in which I took direct participations on the field, I encountered many stories, destinies, and real needs of people. I have improved some of my personal skills and knowledge in communication, as well as working in social service databases".
Haris Bašić, a UN volunteer from Glamoč

The benefits of such a project in the local community are numerous, as highlighted by UN volunteer Nino Šapina from Livno. 

Nino Šapina

"I am part of a project that brings benefits to all of us and immense hope for a new prosperous tomorrow, both through the improvement of social services and infrastructure components as well. Our role through this project truly has a deep impact on shaping the society within local communities. I am happy to see concrete progress within the social welfare center where I am engaged, and I believe that conditions will be even better for our beneficiaries in the future".
Nino Šapina

Social work plays a crucial role in building sustainable societies. By focusing on addressing various challenges affecting individuals and communities, social workers primarily support the most vulnerable, empowering them to enhance their overall well-being and quality of life. 

Through the involvement of volunteers, the SPSC project does not only provide tangible contributions to communities, but also enables local social welfare centers to respond to the needs of their beneficiaries in a more effective way.