News25 May 2022
TİKA Implements the Project “A Ball of Happiness” in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) provided the consumables needed by 120 women who are members of the association Female Interactive Rural Center, operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to produce “Priglavak,” handmade baby shoes with local patterns specific to East Sarajevo-Romanija.
Female Interactive Rural Center is a non-governmental organization founded in East Sarajevo in 1997 and carries out handicraft and production activities for the economic empowerment of women living in the rural area called Romanija. The association has implemented the project “A Ball of Happiness” in recent years in order to boost the economy by reviving the wool handmade products specific to the region and to include these products in UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Wool handmade clothing items are widely produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to harsh winter conditions. In the region, handicrafts represent a special lifestyle in which women come together, help each other, socialize, have fun, and engage in production activities during the long winter days.
The first phase of the project “A Ball of Happiness”, which was launched with the participation of 120 female members from East Sarajevo-Romanija in order to keep alive the traditional/cultural values that are about to be forgotten, and to contribute to the economy, aims to revive and increase the popularity of the handicraft called “Priglavak." TİKA provided the members of the association with the materials (480 kg of wool) needed for the production of these baby shoes for tourists visiting the region.
The delivery ceremony held at the headquarters of the association was attended by Milena Regoje, Executive Director at Female Interactive Rural Center; Muhammed Ünal, TİKA’s Program Coordinator in Sarajevo; and members and administrative staff of the association. Milena Regoje, Executive Director at Female Interactive Rural Center, started her speech by thanking Türkiye for providing the materials, especially those who took the initiative to implement the project. She stated that the project A Ball of Happiness touched and supported the lives of other people, especially the members of the association. She added that the patterns used as part of the project are specific to the region and that they were making an effort for them to be included in UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Muhammed Ünal, TİKA’s Program Coordinator in Sarajevo, noted that TİKA has always striven to support projects for women’s empowerment and participation in production, and that the project “A Ball of Happiness” is of great importance as it promotes the cultural values specific to the region and creates economic value. He concluded his speech by saying that he could see the satisfaction of the members of the association with their activities on their faces, and was happy to be a part of it.
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