Ušivac refugee camp
Bosnia and Herzegovina is considered a transit country that many travel through on their way to the EU and other European countries. According to the Bosnian government, around 60 000 refugees and other migrants have moved through the country since January 2018. In the first four months of 2021 alone, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) recorded more than 11 000 illegal crossings on the Western Balkan route. This number is twice as high as the for the first four months of 2020.
At present, there are at least 8000 refugees and other migrants in limbo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Ušivac refugee camp outside Sarajevo there are around 400 displaced persons, mainly families with small children and unaccompanied minors. Ušivac is one of two refugee camps in the Sarajevo Canton. The other camp is Blazuj camp, for adult men only.
The challenges in the Bosnian refugee camps are many and the conditions for those who live there are difficult. In addition, around 5000 people live outside the official camps, in the forest, in abandoned buildings and other public spaces.
What does A Drop in the Ocean do in Ušivac?
Our main focus in the Sarajevo canton is distributing necessary items to and organising computer classes for people living in Ušivac refugee camp.
A Drop in the Ocean has a team on the ground consisting of experienced coordinators, local- and community volunteer field workers. We have been present in Bosnia and Herzegovina since December 2020, assisting with distributions and organising activities.
Our programme activities:
1. Community Empowerment Mobilisation
- Computer classes
We organise computer classes at basic, intermediate and advanced levels, covering everything from how to set up and send emails to functions and use of the Office suite. The classes take place in two containers equipped with computers and other material, and we offer separate classes for women only.
- Drop Club
In our Drop Club the camp residents can play chess, video games, board games and watch tv.
One of the main goals of this project is to provide a place where adults in transit camp can come to relax and, through our motivated team of volunteers, find support in their their psychosocial well-being and empowerment. With this project, we also want to improve cohesion and contribute to instill a sense of community among adults living in the TRC Ušivak.
2. Humanitarian Aid
We distributes face masks, blankets, hygiene items and clothing to residents in Ušivac refugee camp. We have previously also assisted with distributions in Lipa refugee camp close to the city of Bihac and are working to contribute even more in other parts of the country.
Due to the situation of Covid-19, changes to the activities might occur. We always ensure infection prevention by following various infection control measures, in accordance with the guidelines of the Bosnian authorities.