In the early 1990’s, war raged in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As with every war, this too resulted in lot of traumatized people and thousands of displaced refugees. Displaced people especially women, belonging to different religious and ethnic groups needed a livelihood to support their family.
Using knitting as a vehicle to provide income and heal , Norwegian’s People Aid, an NGO along with Lejla Radoncic started Bosnian Handicrafts in 1995. Today, Bosnian Handicrafts is a modern retail business that trains and employs refugees displaced by the Bosnian war.
These women, many of whom lost husbands, children, brothers and fathers in civil war, are empowered to use their traditional skills to reintegrate into a full life through creativity and personal ownership. Each BHcrafts product is a one-of-a-kind, handmade work of art created by traditional knitting, crocheting and weaving, creating practical and stylish knitwear and accessories and beautiful home décor inspired by traditional Bosnian patterns. Plus, every BHcrafts product features a label identifying the artist who created it, allowing the purchaser to put a real name to the artistry.
In every war-ravaged areas of the world, innocent people bear the brunt of conflict. Creating innovative ways to not only help them heal, but also generate income is a nice way of bringing them some relief.