Reflections on 27 years working in Bosnia-Herzegovina 

Anisija Radenkovic, who was a director for 16 years in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a child

Watch the video below to hear Anisija Radenkovic, our Country Director in Bosnia-Herzegovina for 16 years, reflect on our legacy there.

Hope and Homes for Children was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We’ve been working to stop the institutionalisation of children there ever since 1994 when our story began. In December 2021, after 27 years, we closed our operations there so that we can re-direct our funds to other countries where we can have greater impact. Here, Anisija Radenkovic, our Country Director for 16 years, reflect on our greatest achievements during that time.

We are immensely proud of what we have achieved over the years. We helped unite our two governments, we secured investment from the EU for child protection reform, and we showed that deinstitutionalisation is possible. We brought knowledge and expertise and supported the development of several family and community services for families and children. Our Active Family Support programme was recognised by local government and also UNICEF as one of the most effective prevention programmes. 

My proudest achievement is the creation of the Children and Youth Council – a group of over 50 children and youth from the childcare system or families at risk of separation who now have the opportunity to share their voices with government. 

A table in a conference room with young people sitting along it smiling
Members of our Children and Youth Council

Most importantly we directly supported children to make sure that they have the chance to thrive in a strong, supported family: 

  • We reduced the number of children without parental care from approximately 4,000-5,000 children, to 1,600
  • We helped over 5,000 children from 1,700 families to stay together, not to be separated. 
  • We helped over 350 children to leave harmful institutions and grow up in a natural family environment. 
A family we supported to stay together in 2010. Today, they are thriving and some of the children now have family of their own.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported our work in Bosnia-Herzegovina over the years, particularly St. James’s Place and the Charitable Foundation, and Medicor Foundation Liechtenstein. It’s down to your incredible generosity that we have been able to significantly improve the lives of so many children, and pave the way for childcare reform.