Thursday, October 18, 2007

Srebrenica Memorial Quilt

I have written previously about BOSFAM, the weaving cooperative operated by and for Bosnian women who lost family members during the war. Many of the weavers lost husbands and sons at Srebrenica. BOSFAM provides them both with the sense of community and family to carry on as well as the opportunity to utilize their weaving skills as a source of income.

The Washington DC-based non-profit group AdvocacyNet is a worthy organization which works to facilitate grassroots organizations developed by locals rather than imposing well-meaning programs onto troubled communities. AdvocacyNet has a long-standing connection with BOSFAM, continuing to send interns to work with the center. I personally own a beautiful kilim from BOSFAM, which I purchased through AdvocacyNet.

Now AdvocacyNet is helping BOSFAM to spread the news about the Srebrenica Memorial Quilt, a commemoration of some of the victims of Srebrenica. The quilt is made of individual panels, each one carrying the name of one victim of the massacre. Relatives of victims can have a BOSFAM member add a panel in memory of their loved one for a $40 donation; there is an option for those of us with no personal ties to Srebrenica to do so as well. I will be making a donation, and encouraging friends and family to do the same.

Although the websites linked above do not specify this, I have been informed that the plan is to eventually bring the completed quilt to Washington DC, to be presented to lawmakers at an event designed to bring pressure to push for the arrest of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. Not only will buying more panels benefit a very worthy cause--the larger the quilt, the bigger the impact this planned presentation will have.

Please take time to check out these links, and seriously consider making a contribution. And, most of all, please forward this information and these links to anyone and everyone you know.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Daniel (Srebrenica Genocide Blog editor) said...

Kirk, thank you for supporting Srebrenica memorial quilt. I am happy to announce that me and Owen are buying one too!

For those interested to help, you can commission a hand-woven panel for $40 by contacting BOSFAM directly, or via The Advocacy Project.

In addition, the organization seeks to promote ethnic reconciliation by opening its doors, and its looms, to both Serb and Croat women who suffered during the war.

This is great project, so whoever reads this article - please contribute!