The EBRD Community Initiative provided a charitable contribution of €50,000 to United World Colleges (UWC) in Mostar during last week’s EBRD 2019 Annual Meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The donation will help the College with the renovation of a new student residence in Mostar.
The donations provided by the EBRD Community Initiative to Annual Meeting host countries are intended to contribute to a project which not only enhances the wellbeing of a particular group or community but which, if possible, also has a wider social impact.
UWC Mostar is particular appropriate in this context contributing as it does to the building of trust in the post-conflict society.
UWC Mostar is part of a global educational movement with a mission to use “education as a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”. The College has a very special mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It is located in Mostar, the cultural, economic and tourist center of the southern region of the country. This is the city that experienced enormous suffering and destruction during the 1990s war that turned it into a symbol of division and ethno-political conflict.
UWC Mostar sees its special mission as equipping future generations of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to bridge ethnic, religious and political divides. It provides a unique environment where students from all ethnic and religious groups study and live together.
The UWC’s central location in Mostar’s Spanish Square, once the Green Line, also ensures that it is very much part of the local community. To maximise its impact on the local community and to enhance the experience of the students, the College has purchased and is renovating several buildings ruined during the war.
The buildings are designed as student accommodations in line with the needs of the College and those who study there.
The EBRD Community Initiative donation will fund the construction of the living area and kitchen on the ground floor and the recreational room in the basement of the new residence. This space will be used for small theatre and music performances and other leisure activities for students and staff, thus providing them an opportunity to relax and enjoy their free time together.
Speaking at the donation ceremony, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti noted that “UWC is not just a school, it is a catalyst for change”.
Dzenan Haklovic, Acting Head Teacher of UWC Mostar, thanked the EBRD for the donation and for recognising their efforts to promote peacebuilding in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He stressed that “the donation will greatly help improve the students’ living conditions by turning a building ruined during the war into a beautiful student residence”.