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Project information

Sarajevo: Empowering victims of war

Ensure sustainability of our Bosnia project, passing on our complementary therapy skills to our clients. Provide training in Reiki & Massage, with techniques for self-help, and use on family and friends. Encourage strong social networks with monthly Reiki shares reducing isolation in harsh winters.

May 2019 - October 2019

Charity information: Healing Hands Network

Healing Hands Network logo
  • Need


    HHN have been working in Bosnia for over 20 years. Our season runs from April-October, (due to harsh winters). Many of our clients rely heavily on the support we provide and struggle during the winter. A recent audit confirmed that there is still a need for our presence. Life in Bosnia is still very tough, with poverty, unemployment and a difficult political situation. Morale can be very low and clients suffer with depression and anxiety and a number have diagnosed PTSD.


    Learning new skills is very good for self-esteem & confidence. Running workshops for Reiki & Massage giving techniques for self care and use on friends & family. Encouraging Reiki shares reduces the risk of isolation particularly in the winter. Feedback from workshops to date has been very encouraging - clients are receptive, enthusiastic & excited about learning new skills. Our aim is to establish a HHN School for Complementary Therapy in Sarajevo and provide new employment oppportunities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Ensure project sustainability passing on techniques for self-care, and use with family and friends.


    » Run a series of workshops in Reiki & Massage, transferring our skills to our Bosnian clients, to build self-esteem, resilience & strong networks.

    What success will look like

    The success of this aim will be measured firstly by the standard reached at the end of workshops. Progression onto higher levels after case studies & proof of practise provided.

  • Impact


    Long term this will empower our clients to treat themselves, family and friends for the 6 months we cannot have a presence in Sarajevo legally. This will maintain momentum during the winter and ensure that when we start work again our clients will not have declined from the progress made in their health in the intervening months. It also gives a focus and sense of worth to individuals who want to help themselves and others. We ultimately aim to train to International Standards and create jobs


    Ensuring enough people can access and attend the workshops we need to be able to offer a selection of dates. Many are carers, look after children or elderly or may have cleaning jobs etc. which gives a small income on which they depend. We would aim to flexible and offer alternative sessions. Contacting potential attendees in advance will be essential.
    Translation could be a risk to success but we have managed to have everything translated to date. We have an excellent local management team.


    Reports form the trainers and translators, photographic evidence will be provided if wanted and testimonials from the attendees. This will be on our Facebook page, in our Newsletters and website and can also be sent to anyone who requests it.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £6,300

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,400 flights flights and transfers 8 volunteers over 1 month
      £3,600 accomodation and subsistence rented accommodation and utilities plus basic subsistence 8 volunteers over 1 month
      £300 admin printing, cartridges, postage, internet and phone
  • Background


    Sarajevo and surrounding areas, Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have a clinic and safe accommodation for our volunteer members in the city. We rent and work here for 6 months of the year only as we are not a native Bosnian organisation.

    We have been working there since 1996 in the aftermath of the genocide and war in the Balkans. We believe we are the only humanitarian aid organisation still working with the survivors of the war there on an emotional and physical level with Complementary therapies


    We work with Association of Concentration Camp Survivors, Women Victims of War, Civil War Victims, Mothers of Srebrenica who were formed to help those affected by the war and genocide. We work with their most traumatised members who are needing help and support each season. Each Association gives us a list each year. We provide approx 2,500-3,000 treatments per 6 month season but we need to give them focus, skills and sense of worth and encourage them to help themselves and each other.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have 22 years experience with working in Bosnia and have a very sound and safe infrastructure. We employ local people to be our translators, taxi driver to ensure volunteer safety, and to co-ordinate and run our operation there as we are UK based. These people have been with us for 15+ years. We have excellent reputation and relationship with the Associations and Ministry and have gained respect and trust as being constant and stable over so many years.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sue Stretton

    Admin and overseeing the whole project. Booking trainers and flights and domestic arrangements. There will also be volunteer trainers to be decided

    Nadija Pinjo

    Sarajevo Co-Ordinator and translator. Nadija and her colleague will be responsible for gathering attendees and arranging the sessions in Sarajevo.

Healing Hands Network in Sarajevo