World Vision Bosnia and Herzegovina
article • Thursday, August 3rd 2017

Milk, hope and livelihoods for families in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Children are enjoying nutritious fresh milk and families are building sustainable new livelihoods thanks to World Vision's Graduation out of Poverty project. 

‘We are so lucky to get this cow’, says Jelena, a 28 year old mother of three children all under the age of eight. Both she and her husband are unemployed, part of the 45 per cent of adults in Bosnia and Herzegovina who are not working. Like many in their village they survive doing odd jobs.

Jelena's family was recently selected to take part in World Vision's Graduation out of Poverty project that aims to economically strengthen the most vulnerable families. Through the project they received a heifer which gave birth to a calf and started producing milk.

‘The children asked to drink the milk as soon as the heifer gave birth,’ reveals Jelena, sharing her children’s excitement. The cow now produces two litres of milk per day: enough to fulfil the needs of her growing children.

As soon as her mother finishes the sentence, six year old Tijana, proudly announces; ‘Every morning I drink milk from our cow!’. She especially emphasises the word ‘our’.


‘Our milk is even better than the neighbour’s!’ continues her sister, eight year old Ana Marija, comparing their milk to the one she had tried before. ‘And Kosta agrees! she adds laughingly while her toddler brother looks on with big brown eyes. Tijana and Ana Marija then take a pot full of freshly cooked milk from the oven and start carrying it around, proudly posing for photos. 

The distribution of animals is not the only benefit that vulnerable families have from this livelihood and resilience project. Families are also supported by assets to enable them to have income and food security; training to enable them to increase their skills and capacities and psychosocial support to overcome poverty.

‘We will also be there for these families to help them with the challenges they might face on everyday basis’, explains Armina Silić, World Vision's Project Manager.

As part of the educational component of the project, beneficiaries have already attended trainings. The first related to finance (household budgeting and savings) and the second one dedicated to planning agricultural activities, writing of business plans and learning legislature. Beneficiaries also had an opportunity to learn how to apply to agricultural incentives offered by state institutions and other non-governmental organisations.

Father of three, Mihajlo was also a participant of the training. As part of the project his family received nine sheep and one ram.

‘This training will help me in everyday life, as well as in production and expansion of my work’, says Mihajlo who plans to expand the numbers of his herd of sheep. In order to accomplish this, Mihajlo will need to upgrade their stables, so he hopes that with this new knowledge, he will be able to apply for other incentives. 

Project ‘Graduation out of Poverty’ is supported by World Vision Taiwan. 

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