House of All is a long-term residence for refugees, located in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. House of All is the only alternative to state-run refugee camps within the country. It is largely funded by a local foundation, but there are many costs which are covered entirely by ongoing fundraisers such as this.
Context: Refugees in Bosnia
In recent years, Bosnia and Herzegovina has seen a vast increase in refugees, due to a convergence of factors. Currently, many refugees are leaving their homes due to war, violence, discrimination, and inescapable poverty. Many of these displaced people are leaving countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, with the intention of reaching Europe. One of the most heavily traveled routes into Europe at this time is the “Balkan route.” This involves traveling from Turkey, into Greece, and north through the Balkan states. Bosnia, not a member of the EU, shares a long border with Croatia, which is a member. At this time, Croatia maintains extremely firm border security; therefore, an increasing number of refugees are arriving in Bosnia without the option of moving forward. Some of them attempt to settle in Bosnia and Herzegovina, seeking asylum here, while others attempt to continue their journeys farther into Europe despite the difficulty of crossing the border.
Currently there are many state-run refugee camps in Bosnia. These facilities are attended to by various non-profit organizations, but they are sparse and often extremely uncomfortable places to live, with severe limitations on food, clothing, hot water, and other basic amenities. Additionally, there are thousands of refugees currently living homeless within the country, despite the persistent snow and freezing temperatures.
House of All
House of All is a house located in Sarajevo which provides shelter, food, and many services to its residents. The number of residents is usually between 70 and 85 at any given time.
Working in concert with organizations that facilitate the refugee camps, House of All provides free, long-term accomodation to those refugees deemed most vulnerable. These are almost entirely families with young children, including single-parent families. Residents at House of All contribute to the maintenance of the house, mostly cleaning and cooking. From the house they receive three meals per day, beds and bedding, hot water for showers, internet and electricity, laundry, and other amenities. Through collaboration with our partner organizations they also receive free medical care, legal service, psychosocial support, public education, and numerous other kinds of support. The house is run entirely by volunteers who, in addition to maintaining house operations, facilitate all kinds of activities for the house residents (especially the children).
Our residents are people who have left their homes and will likely never return. They are now in limbo, stuck between the home they have left and the unknown future. Additionally, they are trying to raise families in these impossibly difficult circumstances.
House of All provides safe, comfortable accommodations for these families in transit. It is our intention that they should pass this time of limbo with greater stability, as well as the loving care of the many volunteers who contribute to the house.
Though some of House of All’s costs are covered by a charitable foundation, there are many persistent costs that are covered only by fundraisers. These include some food, transportation (taxis, petrol), hygiene items (diapers, baby food, shampoo, etc.), dental care, and other varied expenses.
House of All relies on the continuous support of generous donors to continue its operations.
If you believe in the mission of House of All— to provide a safe house for families going through the incredible challenges of forced migration— please consider donating to this project.
We are so thankful for all that you can contribute!
With great appreciation,
Blanche, Jack, Alice, Asia, Myriam, Jamie, and Martine
And all the residents— past, present, and future— of House of All.