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Transforming Lives

The Tax Administration in the BiH entity of Republika Srpska had run out of physical space to store official documents.

The fiscal sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has come a long way since the United States helped restructure the country’s foreign debt right after the war in 1996. But until recently, government institutions relied on outdated manual systems for filing taxes and storing records, involving mounds of paper and waiting in long, slow lines.

PVE community action in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

USAID works with youth, parents and communities to teach them how to recognize signs of radicalization and extremist messages to prevent them from ever taking root. USAID helps young people at risk of radicalization and other extremist influences to resolve conflicts and overcome obstacles in their lives.

Jasmin Pjevic and co-participants in USAID’s community workshop in Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 2015, USAID set out to break the cycle of violence through a community engagement and resiliency program, Preventing Violent Extremism in BiH. Through this program, USAID works with young people, parents and communities to teach them how to recognize signs of radicalization and extremist messages to prevent radicalization from ever taking root. The project also helps youth resolve conflicts and overcome obstacles in their own lives.

Sanja Mrsevic in her raspberry fields in Rudo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The people of Rudo, a small town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), live off the land, growing fruits and vegetables or raising cattle. There are no factories and companies, so citizens are mostly left to fend for themselves against the forces of nature. Sanja Mršević is one of the thousands who share this fate.

Businessowner Irma Zerdo, right, with employees Edin Islamović and Berina Zerdo, in front of Cvetak's display of herbal teas

Zerdo is a musician by trade, with a music school degree, but she could not find a paying job in her line of work. She is not alone: Joblessness in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for people in her age group is over 40 percent. So Zerdo knew she had to create her own destiny. She stayed true to what she loved and started a business based on nature.

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Last updated: April 16, 2018

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