By Nino Lojpur, Alumni Coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina, ‘09
Together with American Councils staff in Sarajevo, YES Bosnia alumni decided to organize a cleanup of Ilidza’s Roman ruins outside of Sarajevo. Selma Campara, in-country coordinator of the YES Abroad Program—a counterpart to YES—and I decided to combine volunteers from and work together with a local company Park, which maintains public areas and parks.
Volunteers at the clean-up included current YES Abroad Bosnia participants, Helena Rate, Emma Goldrick, Anna Wright, Katie Wells, and Savannah Wooten and YES alumni Sanda Hanjalic, me, both ’10; Danijel Buzov, ’11; and Dzenana Brkic, ’12, Also joining us were Balkan Language Initiative student Jasmin Cesko, American Councils Bosnia and Herzegovina Office Director, Luljeta Koshi, and Selma. Together we cleaned up the ruins, which are a historic part of our city, but which have become a dumping place for many people.
After Park’s workers trimmed the grass, we went in and picked up the trash and yard remnants. We also had a great time talking to one another, as this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about each other. We also had an opportunity to talk to the director of Park and see if we could do any other activities similar to this in the future. Our current goal for the ruins is to create an informative signboard explaining what the ruins represent.
I was extremely proud of both the YES Abroad students and the YES alumni who helped, and especially Dzenana Brkic, who despite being visually impaired, has such a kind heart and strong will to overcome her obstacles and help the community.