“Medica” Zenica is an expert non-governmental organisation that continuously offers psycho-social and medical support to women and children victims of war and also post war violence, including victims of war rapes and other forms of war torture, sexual violence in general, domestic violence survivors, as well as victims of trafficking in human beings.
Our approach to women and children, victims of war and post-war trauma, is based on humanistic values. The services that “Medica” provides include: shelter/safe house(accommodation, logistics, psycho-social work, counseling, individual and group therapy work, contacts with institutions and agencies provision of comprehensive support, medical support and assistance), psychological counseling center, SOS help-line, Crisis intervention center, Children’s house and Drop-in center and shelter for risk groups’ children, occupational therapy and economic empowerment through training and retraining in terms of vocational training courses in “Medica” Zenica and rural areas, provision of legal aid through existing services and on the field, provision of psycho-social supper and medical assistance and support on the field, and provision of support and assistance to men in psychological counseling center and on the field.
Along with direct work with victims of war trauma and post-war violence, “Medica” Zenica implements a variety of educational, research, advocacy, and publishing projects focused on promotion and protection of human rights, prevention and rehabilitation from war trauma, sexual and domestic violence, establishment of the referral mechanisms, unique data base on the territory of Zenica Municipality and institutionalized networks by utilizing existing resources from the community as well as combating trafficking in human beings and provision of legal aid through outreach programs.
How we work
Medica’s work is based on humanistic and feminist principles, fostering a multidisciplinary approach, by linking the direct protection of victims / survivors of trauma and violence with positive changes in policies and practices of organizations, institutions and society. Based on long experience, established approaches and good practice “Medica” develops preventive and advocacy programs to achieve prevention and rehabilitation of the war and postwar trauma and full gender equality and protection of human rights.
Where we work
On the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, centered in Zenica.
Life of women and children without violence and discrimination, and full equality of rights in family and society.
Comprehensive work with survivors of trauma and violence, combating violence against women and children and achieving greater equality in the family and society.
- “Medica” Zenica is recognized for its holistic approach towards survivors of trauma and violence which is based on humanistic values
- Believing that there is a healthy/undamaged part in every person, which helps normalize conditions, induces the healing process and reestablishes life on quality grounds within the family and the community
- Apart from healing traumatic consequences, the central element of therapy treatment is strengthening inner powers and the healthy, undamaged part of personality which has not been affected by trauma
As a reminder
For 20 years now, “Medica” Zenica has, thanks to the experience and holistic approach to victims / survivors of violence and trauma, continuously monitored the needs of the community, especially its most vulnerable categories – women and children victims of war and postwar trauma and violence, and at the same trying to respond to those needs independently and in cooperation with other actors such as government institutions and NGOs.
Achievements of „Medice“ Zenica
- Over 400,000 different services provided to beneficiaries of “Medica” Zenica in BiH
- 1800 women and girls accommodated in the Safe house
- 7000 persons in Psychological center
- 2000 children in the Children’s house/Drop-in-center
- 900 women at vocational training courses
- 2300 calls received at SOS help-line
- Approximately 7500 participants at “Medica’s” trainings on trauma, gender-based violence and human rights- women’s rights, non-violent communication and conflict resolution, dialogue, reconciliation, inter-religious peace dialogue and co-existence
- Over 70 different publications
- Victims of domestic violence and violence in community recognized as beneficiaries of social rights within the Law on social protection of Zenica Doboj Canton
- “Medica” Zenica established referral mechanism for combating domestic violence and violence in community in Zenica Doboj Canton together with a centralized data base
- “Medica’s” model of service provision, support and protection of victims of trauma and violence recognized in whole BiH and wider
- Women who survived war rapes received a legal status of civil victims of war- The Campaign “For dignity of survivors“
- Introducing gender responsive budgeting and conducting the research on gender responsive budgeting
- “Medica” Zenica established first institutionalized Networks for support to victims, witnesses during prosecuting war crime cases and sexual violence cases in Zenica Doboj and Central Bosnia Canton. The Networks were established to enable equal approach and treatment of all victims and especially of women who survived war rapes and other forms of sexual violence.
Working with survivors of war and post-war trauma
Despite our own 20-year-long commitment and dedication in the field of war and post-war trauma, “Medica” Zenica has always pointed out that survivors of trauma and have still not received institutionalized and comprehensive assistance and support throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. The surviving victims of war trauma still face various obstacles when trying to achieve their human rights. After the direct assistance and work of NGOs in this area it was time to institutionalize the support and protection of the survivors of war, and postwar trauma, with the use of existing experience in this field. To this end, NGOs that have long experience in working directly with survivors of war trauma should strive to connect and exchange experience with relevant institutions in the community, using available resources and examples of good practice. “Medica” is still trying to follow the needs of survivors, and by using all available resources and cooperation with relevant institutions and community organizations we strive to develop a model of support and protection that will be available to all survivors. Therefore, “Medica” continues to work to institutionalize cooperation with all relevant actors in this field, as well as to identify and build models of good practice. Related to this, “Medica” Zenica by following the needs of victims/survivors and witnesses in war crime cases, sexual violence and other criminal offenses established first in Bosnia and Herzegovina but also in the region, institutionalized networks which provide support and assistance victims , witnesses before, during and after testimonies. Since 2011, “Medica” Zenica established the Networks in Zenica Doboj and Central Bosnia Canton and during 2013 we intensively work on establishing 2 more institutionalized networks namely in Una Sana Canton and the region of Banja Luka.
Working with victims of other forms of violence
“Medica” Zenica through existing services – shelter, psychological counseling for women, children and men, children’s house (educational and therapeutic work with children),drop-in center and shelter for children in risk and economic empowerment (tailoring, sewing, upholstery, using textile printing machine, hairdressing and manicure course), occupational therapy, educational work and outreach work as well as legal aid counseling center– provides assistance and support to victims / survivors of violence and trauma as well as through educational and preventive work of promoting and protecting human rights and advocates for full gender equality in family and society.
So far “Medica” Zenica has provided over 400,000 different services in BiH. Unfortunately, this shows that we are daily witnesses to human rights violations, and one of the most severe forms of violence is against women and children. Statistics of “Medica” Zenica, and of other government institutions and NGOs dealing with the protection of victims of violence, indicate an increase in reported cases every year. In 2012 safe house, crisis center and shelter for street children of “Medica” Zenica sheltered 84 people, while in 2011 the number of placed in the shelter and crisis center of “Medica” was 69 persons. In 2012 the psychological counseling center “Medica” Zenica was approached for the first time by 160 people. This data is certainly only a tip of the iceberg because many cases of violence remain unreported, where the victim did not have enough strength to speak out and break the silence on violence. Medica’s experience shows that the most common reasons why women do not report violence are fear, judgment, often rejection of victims / survivors by their family and community, while a very important factor is the economic dependence of women.
Education and empowerment of women
In January 2013 in Zenica-Doboj Canton, Department of Employment Zenica-Doboj canton registered 69.836 unemployed persons out of which 34.234 are women. During the implementation of educational workshops in rural and urban areas in the municipality of Zenica, Zavidovici, Olovo, Zvornik, Zvornik, Prijedor,Ključ, Jajce educators of “Medica” Zenica have noticed that especially women in rural areas lack adequate and timely information and more educational workshops, considering that in most areas “Medica” Zenica was the first organization that organized educational and supportive workshops for women and girls. When considering the overall situation it is not surprising that the situation of women in political life in Zenica-Doboj Canton, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We can say that even representation of women increased for 2 % that is still far away from the equal representation of gender in accordance with the Law on gender equality which is 40%. Even though women constitute 52 % of electoral body, during the last Local elections 2013 only 17,1% of elected officials are women. Although women constitute 52% of the electorate, in the last elections, only 17.01% of elected officials are women. However, in comparison with the Election results from 2008 for 12 Municipalities of Zenica Doboj Canton the increase of elected women to municipal councils on the territory of Zenica Doboj Canton is evident. In 2008, out of total of 272 places in the municipal councils 37 or 13,60 were won by women while in 2012, out of total of 273 places, 49 or 17,94% were won by women. Therefore an increase of 4,34% of elected women to municipal councils on the territory of Zenica Doboj Canton is recorded in 2012. Also, on the territory of Zenica Doboj Canton (12 municipalities) there were 4 mayor candidates out of which 2 candidates for the Mayor of Visoko Municipality and one female candidate in Maglaj Municipality and one in Doboj Jug Municipality. Out of total of 4 candidates, 2 women were elected Mayors namely Mrs. Amra Babić in Visoko Municipality and Jasminka Begić in Doboj Jug Municipality. In comparison with the results of Local elections in 2008 a huge progress has been achieved because in 2008 on the territory of Zenica Doboj Canton there were 2 female Mayor candidates in Maglaj Municipality and Vareš Municipality but none of them was elected Mayor. Therefore, the result of 2 elected women Mayors on the territory of Zenica Doboj Canton, out of total of 5 women elected Mayors on the territory of whole Bosnia and Herzegovina, is more than satisfying, and the increase of 100% is recorded in the number of women candidates for mayor positions in comparison to the number of female Mayor candidates at Local election in 2008.
The above data demonstrates the need to work on empowering and educating women to recognize their own strengths and get actively involved in society, and together with their colleagues create a community where equality is unquestionable.